Sberbank introduces second supercomputer Christofari Neo to meet internal and external AI demand


A second supercomputer and artificial intelligence (AI) upgrades are part of Sberbank’s expanded offering for digital services like cloud computing and virtual assistant software, Chief Technology Officer David Rafalovsky told Reuters on Wednesday.

Russia’s largest lender is investing more in non-banking services as it offers more technology systems, and even removed “bank” from its logo last year. A second supercomputer, Christofari Neo, was unveiled on Thursday that exceeded expectations to meet internal and external AI demand.

The supercomputer was named after the bank’s first customer, Nikolai Christofari, 180 years ago.

In addition to its core business, the lender, together with other Russian companies such as Yandex and Tinkoff, is developing what is known as an ecosystem of services, which Sberbank says is necessary to combat the falling margins of traditional banks.

The central bank has stated that banks would have to create additional buffers if investments in ecosystems exceeded 30 percent of their total capital.

However, Rafalovsky said that Sberbank, whose ecosystem includes e-commerce, cybersecurity and cloud services, has room to continue investing hundreds of millions of dollars in technology.

“We are not restricted in terms of investment ability and capital,” Rafalovsky said in an interview. “We are investing more now (than a year ago). Our investments in core IT infrastructure and products have increased overall.”

He said that the main technological limitation of Sberbank is to attract the best IT talent.

Sberbank needs this talent to further expand its technological arsenal. The “most commercially significant” update, Rafalovsky said, was ML Space Private, an AI development toolkit that third parties can use without fully connecting to SberCloud.

This is important for the many state-bound Russian companies that may not be able to process sensitive government data through Sberbank’s commercial cloud platform.

Sberbank, which is majority-owned by the Russian government, has assets of RUB 36.8 trillion (about RUB 38.52.305 billion) and a market value of about $ 113 billion (about $ 8.41.700 billion . Rupees).

Chief Executive Officer German Gref said Tuesday that Sberbank wanted to expand its digital offering in other European countries, while Rafalovsky indicated that digital asset outsourcing could be possible in a timely manner.

“We are prepared to do it when the time is right,” he said. “The timing is just as important as having something to outsource.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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