Brain vs artificial intelligence: friends or foes

The open dialogue Brain vs Artificial Intelligence was held on January 16 during the 11th Gaidar Forum. The participants analyzed the impact of modern technology on humans and assessed the implications of artificial intelligence.

Sergei Myasoyedov, RANEPA Vice-Rector, Director of the Institute of Business Studies (IBS Moscow), moderated the session. He opened the meeting by asking Tatyana Chernigovskaya, head of the cognitive research laboratory at St. Petersburg State University: “Does intuition play a role?” She answered with a quote from Albert Einstein: “Intuition is a sacred gift, and a rational mind is a faithful servant,” adding that knowledge is limited by definition, while intuition is not.

Tatyana Chernigovskaya began her report “Civilization failure: Will neural and social networks hold it?” by noting the enormous pace of change in this new fluid world, with the possibilities of verifying information gradually dwindling. Furthermore, we are now witnessing a collapse of social structures: a restructuring of HyperNets in the social environment, and inadequacy of ethical and legal norms – their actual bankruptcy.

The speaker mentioned a major project at the UN to develop ethical standards for brain research. She also spoke about the growing power of artificial intelligence (AI) and questioned the advantages of online education. AI is capable of producing news and learning faster than us. Digital reality will become a sign of selection of community members, Dr. Chernigovskaya added. At the end of her report, she asked an open question: “Can AI acquire a SELF one day?”

The discussion was continued by Timothy Mescon, Senior Vice President of AACSB International for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Information is now seen as an operating currency, he said. AI, virtual reality, the blockchain and the internet of things will continue to influence all areas of life. The development of new technologies has led to changes in the labor market, shaping demand for new professions, he said.

The speaker explained that digital transformation is a priority for business in Russia. At the moment, many Russian companies are at an early stage of this process. He also mentioned the Digital Economy of the Russian Federation national program, which aims to increase Russians’ digital literacy from 5% to 60% by 2024. As many as 87% of students in Russia have a positive attitude towards online learning and this type of education is going to spread in the future, he added.

Elina Manusheva


The Gaidar Forum is held at the Presidential Academy under the auspices of the Government of the Russian Federation. Over 11 years, it has become one of the most respected expert platforms that traditionally determine the vector for public and academic discussion.

11th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

Forum partners:

General partners: Gazprom, Gazprombank. Strategic partners: Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis Group, MSD, ACIG Group, EF Education First. Partners: Prosveshcheniye Group, EY, Huawei, RVC, Russian Agricultural Bank.

General information partners: Rossiya 24 TV Chanel, TASS, RBC, Business FM; strategic information partners: Kommersant Publishing House, Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Invest Foresight online business magazine, RIA FederalPress; main information partners:,,,, Profile; international partners: RT, Thomson Reuters, Sputnik, EFE, Cision, Pan Pacific Agency; information partners: Snob media project, PRIME economic news agency, RNS, Expert magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta,, Radio Ekho Moskvy, PRO Business TV channel, FINAM.RU agency, Davydov.Index, Strategia magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, ECONS.ONLINE website, Gosudarstvennaya Sluzhba magazine, TV BRICS.