President Armen Sarkissian participated at the prestigious CogX2020 conference through a video connection: If we want to be a successful and developed country, investing in education is a must
President Armen Sarkissian participated as a speaker through a video call to the prestigious CogX 2020 “Global Leadership Summit and Festival of AI & Emerging Technology” conference. This year the conference was conducted in a virtual mode. The Conference is organized by CognitionX company in cooperation with Microsoft, UI Path, Elutions, QuantumBlack, and IBM.
Presentation of the President of Armenia was watched by over 50 thousand viewers. This prominent international platform brings together world leaders, heads of major companies, scientists, reputable representatives from the areas of technologies, artificial intelligence, arts, and other. Among CogX 2020 speakers are also the US former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, former US Ambassador to the UN, professor of Harvard University Samantha Power, and others. More than 60 speakers from different countries and over 30 thousand participants present and discuss issues related to Covid-19 pandemic and healthcare, cyber security, artificial intelligence, future of the economy and labor market and try to address the main question of the event - How Do We Get The Next 10 Years Right?
The President of Armenia too, spoke of the causes of the pandemic, trends of global development, role of education, opportunities for small countries and measures to be taken in the future to withstand the challenges of the changing world.
Speaking of the pandemic, President Armen Sarkissian noted that it would not be the last one which means we have learn to withstand them and be more prepared. “Viruses have been with us for thousands years, and we have lived with them, have fought them. Many of the viruses are untreatable even today, we have to learn to live with them. However, the main mode of fighting coronavirus, just as one hundred years ago, is still to maintain social distance. It is impossible to escape all this in the 21st century. We are living in a very fast world in which our life is half virtual, half real. We are accumulated in big cities, big shopping malls, travel on big aircrafts, and have caused great damage to the nature. I don’t think that the world has changed because of coronavirus. The world has been changing for the last several decades. We just didn’t notice it. We didn’t notice that this is a different world, and coronavirus simply speeded up that process,” the President said and added that Armenia is not unique in this sense. “Solutions here almost the same as in other countries.”
Noting that coronavirus is not the cause but a result and consequence of the changing world, President Sarkissian said that many of the risks in the new world are unpredictable and spread much faster. “Methods to fight them are not classical like those we were applying 50 or even 30 years ago. We need to review the way we fight pandemics in the new world,” the President said. “We live in a world which is cohesive. Ideas, calculations, principles, philosophy which we apply for the nature in many cases are applicable also for humans. We are not disconnected and are not living by a logic which is different for the nature’s.”
According to the President of Armenia, to enter the new world and withstand the new challenges many things should be reassessed. “Many things will become more important, first of all, healthcare. It means that we need to invest more time, energy, money, and efforts to develop this field. We need to spend more money on biology and biological technologies. It is also very important how we will restructure our economies, which will be the most attractive areas in which people will invest,” President Sarkissian underscored.
“Coronavirus has unearthed many, many questions. It makes us think about the future of our planet, our country, our family. Where to invest? There is no doubt that artificial intelligence will take an important role in the future. Along with other discoveries, for instance – electricity and computers, it will become the driving force behind the planet’s advancement. We should not be afraid of it but should try to develop that field because it will change dramatically the future of the world. Science and technologies will produce new ideas. Artificial intelligence will be the core of that new ideas. In agriculture and in healthcare a number of changes will take place which we are not even able to dream of.”
Responding to the question about the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential initiative aimed at the development of science and technologies, President Sarkissian noted that he dreams of Armenia becoming a developed country. “ATOM is aimed at encouraging Armenia to become a leading center of the world in the field of artificial intelligence. One of its components is certainly education. It is impossible to develop new technologies without educating and engaging young generations. The second component is the culture of startups. The world is becoming a venue for startups. If you look at big organizations, all of them are startups of new ideas. It will continue to happen in the future because it is a quantum process. It is necessary to support individuals or groups which are able to generate new ideas and change the world. I dream of creating small laboratories with the leading institutions of the world such as Thales Group, Dassault Systemes, Siemens and through them to educate young people in this field as well as to support them financially for future activities.”
President Sarkissian said that methods of learning have changed too; lifestyle, electronic governance have become parts of our lives. “This looks more like a renaissance time,” Armen Sarkissian noted. “This is the time for individuals; it will unite human qualities starting from culture, science, technologies up to human values. If you have new leaders who in this new vulnerable world lack morals or ethical values, we will face huge problems. We have to teach them to be responsible leaders, responsible before themselves, their nation, their family, and the nature.
Morality, along with religion and family values, should become part of education. As the one who praises the quantum world, I am very classical when it comes to values. It is very important because in this educational chain it is important not to divert from your true path, from where you come. It is important to create new values based on your nation, family and your personal heritage and to develop something new.”
Stressing the important role of education, President Sarkissian said that investing in education in this new world is a must. “Best universities and schools of the world should be available for all. Students in remote villages can receive same education if the system allows, or if we make efforts in that area, by organizing, for instance, mathematics, physics, history classes with the participation of the best tutors and lecturers. Certainly, everyone should be able to afford the best in the world. Speaking of human values, it is important to remember that time is pushing us forward. Everyone starts his or her life at some point and ends it at some point. You constantly think of your future, your nation, your family, future of your children. Investing in education is a must. If you live in a free country and want to change the situation, it is possible to make it only through education. The planet relies less and less on natural resources. If we think about large companies, there are mostly institutions of ideas, information technologies. It means that in the future, we will rely more and more on technologies. It means that the best way to fight poverty is to invest into education. Education is a must, and this world provides ample opportunities for it.”
President Sarkissian spoke of another of his ideas – opportunity to create a club of small nations. “If superpowers have influence in this world, why can’t small countries do the same? Recently, I have spoken about this idea with the leaders of small but successful countries, particularly with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Emir of Qatar, Leader of the UAE, President of Israel. All these countries stand out for their focus on technologies and new way of thinking. I want to see Armenia as a startup nation. We are a small country but a global nation, and our country can be successful and influential,” President Armen Sarkissian said and clarified, “this is not a club to discuss economic, geopolitical, or military issues. This is a club where we can share values and ideas and unite to learn from each other. We should unite not to act against someone but in the name of this planet. The club will not strive to substitute or become an alternative to any international organization. The club aims to unite small but successful countries, present achievements and vision for the future and help each other. Had we thought of substituting any organization, we would fail. We should assist the already existing organizations.”