The Internet of Things, the use of Big Data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and data transmission development nowadays significantly impact the daily lives of human beings and foster innovations in almost every field. At the beginning of the year, the organisers of the Baltic Business Technology Fair and Conference RIGA COMM invited industry experts and speakers of the previous years to evaluate the technological development and forecast the trends of 2019. We offer you to take a look at a few of them!
Everyone is welcome to discuss the recent developments in the field in what is already the 8th Baltic Business Technology Fair and Conference RIGA COMM 2019, which will take place on 10 and 11 October.
5G Internet promotes digitalisation in all sectors; opportunity for Latvia to take the lead
Manufacturers are promising to offer the first 5G devices already this year, and Latvian telecommunications operators are also planning to develop the first 5G networks this year. Aleksandrs Sigajevs, Manager of Innovative Solutions at Latvian Mobile Telephone, points out that the next generation 5G mobile network will not simply mean even faster internet: “It is designed as a very stable wireless internet connection with a very low delay so that it can be relied on in automated production facilities, in unmanned cars driving in the traffic, and by patients receiving remote medical aid.” A. Sigajevs points out that 5G will promote digitisation in virtually every industry, and that Latvia has all the technological advantages, as well as the smart people needed to become a leader.
Artificial intelligence will also operate in Latvian
The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning allows organisations that have a lot of data to use them more efficiently: for financial institutions – to assess the risks associated with clients and transactions; for commercial companies – to customise their offer according to customer preferences; for doctors – to make a more accurate diagnosis and to choose the most appropriate treatment approach. For successful development of the field in Latvia, solutions in machine translation from/to Latvian, speech recognition and speech synthesis are needed. The company Tilde has already developed the most important artificial intelligence technologies for the Latvian language, and this year they are planned to be implemented in various solutions. Andrejs Vasiļjevs, Head of the company, promises that we will meet more and more virtual assistants speaking Latvian in customer support, eliminating the need to call an operator.
Aldis Ērglis, Head of the Machine Learning Laboratory at Emergn, points to the new challenges related to the industry that all global specialists face: “There are highly developed artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions for cases when a lot of data is available, so it was possible to create solutions with highly precise results, such as in image recognition or in the creation of recommendations for online stores and social networks. In 2019, one of the challenges will be creating solutions that can achieve high accuracy, even with a small amount of data.”
New challenges in cybersecurity from individual to national security
As technologies evolve, more and more opportunities arise for wrong-doers in cyberspace. Individuals and entrepreneurs need to be aware that it is no longer possible to protect their data and the IT systems of the company with the protection tools used so far – antiviruses, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, etc.
Andris Soroka, Executive Director of Data Security Solutions points out that “In 2019, in the field of cybersecurity, from the “dark side” we will witness IoT-based attacks, a competition between automatic attack tools equipped with AI and protection systems equipped with AI, incidents caused by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), geopolitical incidents within the digital space and information wars, as well as increasingly sophisticated targeted attacks, identity theft and global data leaks.”
Kirils Solovjovs, the leading researcher and IT security expert at possible.lv also points out that entrepreneurs continue to adjust their behaviour to the General Data Protection Regulation. “In recent years, entrepreneurs have been tempted to collect data about their customers, even if data collection is not profitable (yet). However, this year’s data leaks caused by hackers and computer viruses will encourage the storage of only the necessary data.
State-sponsored cyberattacks are no less important to remember – China is still actively interested in opportunities for industrial espionage, and some experts have already named the hostile activities of Russia in the cyberspace of Latvia and other European countries a new “cold war””.
Business process automation will also improve the efficiency of medium and small businesses
Business Process Automation (BPA) allows one to reduce manual, time-consuming and costly tasks within a company and to replace them with automated processes that run faster and reduce operating costs. BPA allows organisations and professionals to do more meaningful and significant work, rather than devoting resources to tasks that are repetitive and monotonous. Maksims Jegorovs, Head of Accenture in Latvia predicts that this year, it will be the medium and small business sector which will focus more on data analysis and research: “There is still great potential in the field of data efficiency and use. There are some examples in this field, but the potential has not been reached, as the power of the data is valued more highly by large companies”.
Blockchain bubble has burst; solutions to real problems are expected
“The so-called Initial Coin Offering bubble has burst, and most of the counterfeit projects have died out, leaving only those projects that create real value,” says Konstantins Vasilenko, co-founder of Latvian Blockchain Association and Cryptocash.lv, and Executive Director of Paybis.com This year, the people employed in the industry, including in Latvia, will focus on the use of blockchain technology in real sectors and will try to solve real-life problems with blockchain technology. The University of Latvia’s Blockchain Pre-Accelerator is planning to bring in a second group of participants this year and to help young people create blockchain start-ups that will bring added value.
Latvian scientists are looking for practical applications of quantum computing
Quantum computing is becoming a field in which significant resources are invested. For example, this year Google announced the creation of a quantum computer with 72 quantum bits, nearing the line beyond which quantum computers will no longer be able to be modelled, even on the most powerful traditional computer. Andris Ambainis, Head of the Quantum Computer Science Centre of the Faculty of Computing of the University of Latvia states that the most topical issue for Latvian scientists is – what can be calculated using these devices: “This issue is particularly topical for medium-sized, noisy quantum computers that do not reach the capacity of a full-fledged quantum computer, but can surpass any traditional computer in solving specific tasks, and which will be available in the coming years.”
The RIGA COMM fair is organised by the International Exhibition Company BT 1.