Vladimir Putin Talks Ruling the World, Future Wars And Life On Mars

Putin with kids
Russian President Vladimir Putin poses for a picture as he visits the Sirius educational centre for gifted children in Sochi, Russia, May 10, 2016. Michael Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin/Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed students back to class by imparting his wisdom on the future of war, the importance of cutting edge technology and surviving on Mars.

Putin began his address to a hall of students in Yaroslavl with a pep talk for the youngsters, urging them to take the "next step" in Russia's future—a point in a vibrant, millennia-old continuum.

"If we continue to exist for over a thousand years and we are actively developing, becoming stronger, then it means that there is something that makes this happen," he declared on Friday, in an event broadcast nationwide by the Kremlin, Russia's state media and Kremlin youth movements. "This something is the internal nuclear reactor of our people."

Not dwelling on the past for too long Putin quickly gave his thoughts on where Russia and the world's future lay.

"Artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia but the future of humankind," Putin said. "Here there are colossal possibilities and threats that are hard to predict today. Whomever becomes a leader in this sphere will be the master of the world and I would very much like it that there is no monopoly of this in any specific pair of hands."

Putin vowed that if Russia were to attain this enviable position of supremacy over AI "we would share these technology with the whole world, as we share atomic and nuclear technology today."

Another area for development where Russia cannot claim leadership yet, Putin said, is unmanned vehicles.

"And it is one of the most important directions (for development) that is important to us in all fields—in economics and in defense," Putin stressed.

Russia is still working on developing a viable military drone programme beyond handheld, reconnaissance drones and increasing automation is a crucial goal in its military modernization strategy before 2020.

"Many countries have flying drones with quite large loading abilities. We are still working on this," Putin said. Russian arms makers this year unveiled plans for a five tonne Russian drone though this is not in production.

If the future went as defense experts are now predicting, Putin said, one day "wars will be concluded when all the drones on one side are destroyed by the drones of another.

Putin touched on the topic of space technologies, hoping that space travel technology could one day be used in passenger travel, though not necessarily for journeys into outer space. He described the slashing of flight time from Russia's westernmost major city, Kaliningrad, to its easternmost, Vladivostok, as "a dream."

As far as space travel is concerned, Putin told students that there is hope for life on other planets in our Solar System.

"The flight to Mars would take no less than half a year, maybe even more," Putin said. "If you fly to Mars and buried yourself somewhere in there, then you could exist for some period of time. But you have to dig yourself in because cells simply die on the surface," he warned pupils.