Legal information - Artezio
Presentation - Artezio
Since establishment in 2000, Artezio has completed over 1000 projects for its international corporate customer base. The time and effort of the most experienced developers is also invested in R&D activities, including but not limited to AI, ML, and blockchain.
As a senior-level technology company we continuously strive to gain expertise and stay on top of the curve of innovation.
Our competences include:
- Enterprise application development
- Business process automation software based different BPM engines (Activiti BPM, jBPM)
- High loaded based SOA system development using both whole JEE stack (CDI, EJB, JPA, JSP, JSF, JMS, SOAP, REST) plus related frameworks(Spring, Seam) and whole .Net stack (ASP.Net MVC, WPF, WCF)
- Portal solutions based on Liferay Portal , Sharepoint WSS/MOSS, WebLogic Portal, WebSphere Portal
- Integrations solutions using ESB (OSB, Oracle ESB, IBM WebSphere ESB, JBoss ESB), Spring integration, MSMQ, eMule
- System based reporting Jasper, BIRT, Pentaho, SQL Server Reporting Services
- Large, distributed systems and highly-scalable network servers using GoLang
- Cloud based solutions (Azure, Amazon)
- Big data related technology
- Database analysis and BI (Pentaho, Oracle BI)
- NoSQL databases (Cassandra, MongoDB, CouchDB)
- Search engines (Elastic search, Apache Solr, Sphinx)
- Intellectual Data Processing (Apache Lucene, Apache Mahout)
- Distributed Compilation (Apache Hadoop, Apache ZooKeeper)
- Mobile and web development services.
At Artezio we do not believe in "one-fits-all" solutions, so individual approach, proven Agile-based customer collaboration frameworks, flexibility of the development process, and MVP delivery model ensure that Customers always get the product which meets market requirements.
News - Artezio
Nov 5 2019Article
Can AI Be Biased and Make Mistakes Like Humans?Artificial intelligence can stand at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It was announced by HIT Robot Group Vice President Chen Quliang at the GMIS 2019 summit. It means that AI will be more often used in manufacturing and business operations, and the fate of hundreds of millions of people will depend on the success and decisions of machines. However, AI can not only solve problems, but also create them, taking human weaknesses and mistakes as the standard of behavior.
Like father like son
Let us recall how artificial intelligence works. Any artificial intelligence is a specialized solution, the effectiveness of which depends on the quality of training. Simply put, if it is necessary for AI to qualitatively recognize diseases or people in photos, it needs to be trained. And this is the main issue that can literally turn into a problem for businesses. It can happen that during training AI doesn’t always make right conclusions.
Today, when AI-based projects are growing rapidly, ethical issues become even more urgent. One of them is racism. AI can have different biases. After all, it learns from data that reflects the current biased decisions that people make. For example, Microsoft’s AI chat bot Tay, launched on March 23, 2016, turned from a peace-loving interlocutor into a real Nazi in less than a day. He was taught racist remarks and insults by Twitter users.
It is not the only example. Another well-known case is when with the help of AI, Northpointe created an assistant judge in the United States that could help make fair decisions. The program was supposed to identify a “ risk assessment score” based on available data. This algorithm was much more likely to predict repeated offence and left African-Americans behind bars, especially those who lived in areas with a predominant share of African-Americans. Only 20% of suspects for whom the software identified a high risk of committing crimes did indeed commit them within a few years.
The software was trained on specific court decisions. However, as we know, people who work as judges are guided not only by objective data from the body of crime and the defendant’s story. Decisions are often affected by fatigue, and the time of day – whether the case is being considered before or after lunch.
Therefore, AI can inherit biases from the data on which it is trained, but at the same time, at least we have control over factors it takes into account. On the other hand, people can uncontrollably transfer their personal relationships and emotions to the subject of their analysis.
Can AI be objective?
Dmitry Parshin, Head of Artezio Software Development Center, believes that it can be so. However, there is one thing to bear in mind. “For successful operation of artificial intelligence, machines must use the already accumulated data so that they can learn to make decisions based on previous experience. It means that machine learning algorithms rely on data and practices that exist in our society. Thus, artificial intelligence is based on all prior experience that includes certain prejudices dominating in the public conscience. Therefore, AI learns from human prejudices as well,” he believes.
For example, due to learning difficulties, Tay chat bot was rejected. Based on AI, the chat bot was meant to start and engage in dialogues politely and cheerfully, seeking to attract people through playful conversations. But it soon became popular among trolls, who, using machine learning, taught him to support racist ideas and anti-Semitic statements, call for genocide, admire Hitler, and praise Trump. For these reasons, Tay was very soon criticized by users.
Errors in training resulted in failure of several more projects. For example, Amazon created an AI algorithm to automate an employee search and recruitment system. However, everything went not as it had been expected, the system began to refuse female applicants. “The company wanted to get a tool that would select the top five resumes out of a hundred, and then hire these people,” said one of the interlocutors to Reuters. The initial idea was that the system itself would evaluate resumes and cover letters of job applicants and then assign them a rating of one to five stars.
“The management literally wanted us to provide the algorithm with 100 resumes, then it will spit out the top five, and the company can hire those people, - said one of the software developers to Reuters. – However, it became clear that the created system did not adhere to the principles of gender neutrality, since previously most resumes had been submitted by men. Thus, the algorithm began to reject applications that included the word “women.”
Later, the program was edited so that artificial intelligence did not mark this word and its derivatives as something negative, but it did not help much. Amazon recognized the program as unreliable, and the project was closed, however, according to Reuters, for some time the HR Department took into account recommendations of the algorithm, although their final decision was not based on them.
Why is this happening?
In machine learning, a programmer provides AI with an initial dataset. For example, the face recognition AI receives many images, some of which are labeled as “faces,” and some as “not faces.” Over time, AI comes up with its own templates and algorithms that allow it to highlight a face in the image.
But what happens if the initial faces that AI receives are mostly white males? Eventually, AI can decide that to be white is a necessary criterion and will reject faces with a black skin color. Today facial recognition systems are used in the subway, at railway stations, and airports. What will be the cost of their error?
Today, when developing complex AI training schemes, you can get far from the results that were originally expected. The problem is that the methodological basis for teaching AI is not always a high quality one. All automated research of content generated by web users leads to “wrong” conclusions and results. It means that for quality AI training, it is impossible to quickly collect an array of data from open sources. Even in order to teach the warehouse robot to recognize a wrinkled box [AU2] , you must manually create a high-quality image database, which will take several months.
Dangerous knowledge from the Internet
Artezio experts note a recent study that was published at Cornell University in the United States. The researchers created AI to detect and analyze expressions containing “hate speech”. “It turned out that a disproportionate percentage of online posts containing racist, sexist, and simply aggressive language is written in African American English.” They decided not to conduct further software development.
In the same study, a similar Google experiment was mentioned, during which it was found that the vast majority of sexist statements on the internet are humiliating or offensive to men, while the number of abusive messages about women is relatively small. It was decided not to conduct further software development.
Finally, a 2016 Demos AI study showed that more than half of the misogynistic (offensive to women) online messages are posted by women.
“As for the inclusion of various racial and gender characteristics in AI in contextual analysis, this task is currently unsolvable. Therefore, by definition, any AI will be a politically incorrect racist and sexist tool until it learns to deliver results needed by fighters for social justice,” believes the expert.
Of course, you can reduce the risk of transferring prejudices and biases in AI.
However, Dmitry Parshin says that this is difficult to perform, because all such prejudices are closely related to our lives, and the data is only a statement of facts that does not always take into account the context. “You can remove obvious inconsistencies from the training database, but this will only be a small part of them. In real life, we ourselves cannot fully recognize any actions and deeds as obviously sexist or racist even when formally it is so. As you see, everything is confusing and complicated: we sometimes make mistakes and cannot clearly explain what will be ethically correct,” he says.
No freedom from prejudice?
As business increasingly relies on AI, it is important to bear in mind that AI may possess human weaknesses of its creators. Therefore, technology companies should strive to become more diverse in the selection of information for the system and be prepared to critically analyze data provided by AI. All services using artificial intelligence that are designed to categorize personality traits will encounter racist, sexist, and other human biases when training.Show More Show less
Oct 30 2019Press release
Artezio CEO Takes Part in Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019Artezio CEO Pavel Adylin is attending a conference organized by Gartner, the leading research and advisory company.
Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019 is taking place in Orlando (Florida, USA) and has brought together thousands of IT directors and IT executives of companies from around the world. As the organizers note, the symposium discusses key topics, including data and market analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, customer experience, cybersecurity, and much more.
According to Gartner’s representatives, “Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo ™ 2019 is a place where you can master your leadership skills, improve your strategies and find innovative technologies that will help move your business forward.”
Gartner is the world’s leading research and advisory company.
It analyzes market and technology trends and provides data to companies. Thanks to Gartner, representatives of the IT industry can make right decisions to grow their businesses, follow current trends, and attract customers.
Since 2018, Artezio has been actively collaborating with Gartner and exchanging information and knowledge in various fields. The participation of Artezio's top manager at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019 emphasizes the importance of cooperation between the companies and close attention to changes and trends that are discussed at such key events.Show More Show less
Oct 27 2019Press release
Artezio to Attend the Third Annual Mobile Congress in Los AngelesArtezio was invited to attend a major technology congress that is held annually in Los Angeles (USA) – MWC Los Angeles 2019.
MWC is the largest international congress dedicated to the development of telecommunication technologies and software solutions. The congress attracts thousands of attendees including leading companies in the field of hardware and software developments for the mobile industry.
This year congress participants will focus on the prospects of using 5G communication technology, manufacturers will present unique hardware systems for business as well as communication user terminals and smartphones.
Artezio regularly takes part in MWC held both in the USA and in Europe. This event brings together a technical community and becomes a platform for concluding partnership agreements between companies. In addition, MWC determines the trends in which the telecommunication industry will develop in future.Show More Show less
Oct 20 2019Press release
Artezio Among Top 15 Allentown Software Developers According to ClutchClutch, an international research platform, published a list of the best Allentown (PA, USA) software developers. Artezio ranked the second in the prestigious rating.
Artezio is a leading software solutions provider for the US businesses. The company is headquartered in New York, and its centers for software development and advanced research (AI lab) are located in the USA, Europe and Canada. Leading businesses and enterprises in the US use Artezio services. The company solutions allowed for process automation in the healthcare, financial, and construction industries. Artezio business focuses on raising standards and quality of service in various fields. It can be achieved through the introduction of new technologies and automation tools.
Clutch research allows companies to efficiently select contractors for project implementation. The agency has frequently called Artezio among the best companies. In 2018, Artezio was recognized as one of the top .Net developers in New York.
“We continue to invest heavily in the development of the expertise and professional level of our employees on the US market. It allows us to operate successfully and provide high-quality development and business analysis services to US companies,” says Pavel Adylin, Artezio CEO.
The reputable international agency Clutch regularly updates the ratings of companies in various professional fields. Clutch analysts use a patented method of business analysis that reflects the quality of service provided by companies. The method takes into account qualitative and quantitative indicators for each market participant, including customer reviews and the results of their own research.Show More Show less
Sep 30 2019Press release
Artezio Cost Track Now Supports iOS 13 and Dark ModeArtezio Cost Track , a mobile app for budget management, now supports iOS 13 and iPadOS functionality as well as the dark mode.
Users of iOS devices can now install the updated version of the popular app Cost Track. The developers customized the app to work with iOS 13 operating system and added the support of the dark theme.
Now it is possible to use the app taking into account the day light or personal preferences in choosing a light or dark design.
The iOS update for a new version is available for iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro (Max), iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE and iPod touch and iPad.
Introducing the updated iOS, Apple highlighted a possibility to use app in a classic light or dark design. The use of the dark UI on devices with OLED displays gives an increase in energy efficiency.
Cost Track is a high quality tool for daily monitoring of income and expenses. The app helps not only to take into account all financial transactions – from the purchase of products to costs of service stations and travel, but also to achieve savings through data analysis and visualization.
The tool is one of the most popular App Store app (Russia) for finance tracking according to major technical publications. You can download Cost Track for free on the App Store and Google Play.Show More Show less
Sep 24 2019Press release
Artezio Experts to Speak at the Prestigious International Conference Big Data Days 2019The international conference will gather leading experts in big data, data analysis and processing, and machine learning.
The event will host speakers from different countries, including the USA and the European Union, and among them are Artezio representatives who will talk about the company achievements in the field of machine learning and big data processing.
Vladimir Krylov, Professor of Mathematics and Artezio Consultant, will give a speech at the conference, as well as Andrey Shagalov, Artezio Quality Director, who will talk about his experience in applying machine learning in music and art.
Big Data Days 2019 is a platform for the experience exchange and communication of professional developers. The annual event brings together IT experts and users.
During industry-specific sections and presentations, new approaches to work with big data and machine learning are discussed. The purpose of the event is not only to talk about achievements and real projects, but also to focus developers’ attention around the world on promising technologies.Show More Show less
Sep 23 2019Press release
Artezio Top Managers Meet Leaders of IT Companies in BostonThe largest technology event Business of Software Conference USA 2019 has recently ended in Boston. This year technology leaders from around the world including Artezio took part in the event.
Artezio is expanding its operations on the US market and is actively involved in initiatives aimed at improving technology level of businesses in the USA. Traditionally, company representatives attend key industry events and hold meetings with business partners in different cities of the United States.
Business of Software Conference USA 2019 focuses not so much on software development as on applying new technologies in business. As the conference organizers admit, Business of Software is an event that aims at business development and the use of software products.
“We strive to host the greatest software conference in the world gathering professional experts to share ideas,” note the organizers.
Artezio in its turn actively takes part in such meetings and develops contacts with the business community in the USA.Show More Show less
Sep 16 2019Article
Can AI Unleash a World War: Experts Say Yes!Dr. Bruce D. Jett, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, recently admitted that certain types of weapons could be placed under control of AI. Representatives of the military units of Europe and China immediately made similar statements. Previously, the inventor Elon Musk warned that such statements and actions could set off World War III.
A “brain in a jar” or a “black box”?
The military has dreamt of recruiting artificial intelligence from the very moment the first man-made neurons began to demonstrate minimal efficiency. Armies of many countries in the world would like to have an impartial soldier on their side who performs commands, knows how to quickly analyze a situation and is the first to press the red button in case a nuclear apocalypse occurs. The imagination of military units is reflected in Hollywood blockbusters, where an independent and belligerent AI drives humanity into the Stone Age.
Experts believe that the world is approaching the line beyond which machines, not humans, will lead wars.
Artificial intelligence can obviously be used for various military purposes. Now war is not what it used to be – it is a battle of technologies, far from being visible to the naked eye. A civilian can deal with the current tasks of programming, being at the workplace in a large corporation or state-owned enterprise, and would never suspect that his developments actually might be used for other motives.
Managing missile launches, tracking the behavior of flying objects, including in the stratosphere, intercepting and decoding enemy signals, building illusory targets, and hindering similar enemy activities are just some of the tasks that AI can perform.
And it is important to understand here that AI is not a human “brain in a jar.” It is program algorithm or, as scientists call it, a “black box” that can be trained. It can observe, repeat, make mistakes, and learn. For example, the photos of cats are shown to the black box, and while guessing, making mistakes, it learns to recognize these furry pets. And each time it improves. In the same way, AI can find cancer in pictures, play complex games or analyze military maps, or control a tank.
Experts say that, at the same time, the algorithm does not have its own consciousness or understanding what exactly it does. Moreover, developers believe that AI cannot suddenly become rational or destroy people without human intervention.
AI as a soldier, general, commander?
It is still difficult to determine the role of AI in the military. Politicians and futurists see artificial intelligence as the commander and power that can destroy the whole world at once. Pavel Adylin, Artezio CEO, the creator and curator of AI lab believes that AI cannot become dangerous without human intervention.
“Elon Musk says the same. He does not claim that something terrible can appear in this “black box”, he believes that a person with bad intentions, using this tool (it mainly refers to reinforcement learning algorithms), can cause troubles. That is, if you set a certain motivation before the program that will be harmful to the person, the system will learn to solve the problem, the goal of which will be evil, and achieve greater success on this path,” says Adylin.
For example, developers can create AI that will be able to run a battle tank. The tank itself will drive and accurately shoot at targets that a person will determine. That is, AI will focus on predefined tasks, set by a human, and not by self-consciousness or the mythical “Machine God.” Thus, we should not expect miracles of the commander who makes independent decisions—at least not yet.
According to Pavel Adylin, “If we talk about comprehensive command and control of the troops, replacing the general staff with a neural network, then this is an AI-complete problem, which is, creating a computer as smart as a person. In the short term, such a problem will not be solved, but progress does not stand still. And if we talk about particular cases, it is precisely such tasks that a unified system of layered air defense is already solving. The most suitable means of destruction are matched to the targets, depending on the degree of their threat and destruction probability.”
The classic turning point in the development of AI is considered the moment when the robot (with AI) is able to clone itself using improvised material, such as soil, for example.
Therefore, software algorithms must contain restrictions that will not allow robots to “multiply” in an unlimited way.
Nanorobots and “smart” missiles
Assessing the potential of using AI in the armed forces, almost no experts see global systems or solutions that could change the balance of power, as it has happened in the past with atomic technology.
The potential for use is very wide: starting from missiles that independently adjust their flight to increase accuracy, to decision-making systems on the appropriateness of certain military operations based on simulations. The military sphere has a huge number of places to apply AI, and there are probably more than it can be economically feasible. For example, there are certain results on the development of self-guided bullets, but they are unlikely to receive wide distribution in the near future due to their high cost.
The US is watching...
One can only guess how much military forces of different countries spend on developing smart weapons. No one can give exact numbers, and AI research is partially conducted in the civilian, commercial sphere as well.
It can be assumed that about 10 to 30 percent of the defense budget is spent on the AI research, plus hundreds of millions of civilian dollars. It indicates that the US defense strategy does not include high AI stakes.
For example, in June 2018 the Pentagon launched its Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). The name of the center is more like a PR move. Experts believe that the Pentagon has not conducted any developments in the AI field and is awaiting proposals from the civil industry.
Arguing their findings, experts cite the speech of Captain Michael Kanaan, Co-Chair for Artificial Intelligence, U.S. Air Force.
“One of the problems that contractors may encounter is more expensive products that focus on government-oriented programs, on security, compared to the same, less expensive, commercial programs. A new approach to commercial off-the-shelf technology as part of the service can help," says Captain urging not to consider non-classified civilian projects unprotected.
Simply put, advances in the development of AI in the commercial field are better than in the secret laboratories of the US military industry. Therefore, the United States determined the task to its military leadership – to monitor successes and use the best practices.
It turns out that the USA is watching the development of AI and does not strongly believe in its benefits for defense. It is easy to believe, if you pay attention to the speech of the American military official Major Daniel Tadross (JAIC).
“We started exploring the Ministry of Defense’s aviation service ecosystem, which is huge and too complex for any artificial intelligence,” says Tadross. That is, artificial intelligence is de facto assigned the role of an ordinary soldier or part of defense systems – missiles, bullets, guidance systems that are controlled by men.
Meanwhile, Russia is creating smart weapons
However, in Russia everything is exactly the opposite – breakthrough technologies are born in the defense industry and then find their application in the civic life. This was stated by Ruslan Tsalikov, the First Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia. According to Tsalikov, the Russian Armed Forces "lead almost all the breakthrough technological areas that are being developed in the country."
The military official believes that "this is a normal situation, since the development of military technologies is always ahead of the development of civilian technologies." It turns out that the advanced AI developments should be sought from the military.
In the guidebook of the Ministry of Defense, the section on the use of AI in defense states that research “is conducted in three main areas: the creation of knowledge-based systems; neurosystems; heuristic search systems, automated information systems, military systems that are decision support systems for officials and the so-called intelligent systems and weapon models."
In 2017, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that by 2025 Russia will complete the development of new intelligent weapons – robots and drones.
Just one year later, at the conference “Digital Industry of Industrial Russia-2018”, Sergey Abramov, Conventional Armament, Ammunition and Special Chemistry Cluster Industrial Director of the Rostec State Corporation, spoke about the developments “on the creation of AI military systems, which involves self-learning weapons.”
As an example, he mentioned the development in the Kalashnikov Concern – a combat module that can identify the threat and decide on its destruction.
“The module independently analyzes the environment, identifies threatening objects and decides on their destruction. The algorithm of the on-board computer is based on the algorithms of the human brain, so the module is able to self-learn during the combat use,” says concerned representatives.
Intelligence that does not exist?
It is impossible to use what is not really there. Artificial intelligence, which is currently offered on the market, is not intelligence, scientists believe.
“The concept of the perceptron, implemented on the basis of neural networks and Bayesian networks, is an artificial eye, ear, nose in its functionality and essence, but not the brain. Therefore, such artificial intelligence (decades ago called weak, and today referred to as fast) has serious limitations on its possible application. The maximum that modern systems are capable of is autonomous actions at a tactical level,” notes an independent expert.
According to the expert, current systems are not capable of thinking more globally. They can’t think at all, as this function is not inherent in them.
“To understand the basic algorithm of modern AIs, it’s sufficient to get an idea of the “Chinese room” experiment, the defense projects of modern AI systems are more correctly called ‘autopilots,’ and then it becomes clear where they are used, and what they are capable of. In the civilian sphere, more recently, a Boeing autopilot showed its elementary inability to adequately reflect the situation in case of a sensor breakdown, which led to several disasters,” notes the specialist.
Is the war real?
Speaking about the possibility of a new world war, Elon Musk proceeds from the fact that the current level of technical development of AI is higher than the level of regulation of various aspects of AI. In other words, legislative experiments with AI are in no way limited.
This is a dangerous problem, according to Vladimir Krylov, Professor of mathematics, Head of the AI laboratory, Artezio consultant.
“I would limit the use of AI in the military industry, as a biological and chemical weapon, and control it as nuclear weapons. The creation of intelligent systems for independent control of weapons without human intervention, in my opinion, should be regarded as criminal acts and limited to international treaties.”
Large technology companies such as Google and SpaceX understand this problem, and they have already signed an agreement on non-participation in the development of weapons using AI.
“In his judgments, Elon Musk proceeds from the fact that the current level of technical development of AI is higher than the level of regulation of various aspects of AI, since AI can be both a powerful tool and a powerful weapon. He calls for more efforts to regulate AI in order to prevent a situation where AI will control people. However, history shows that certain restrictions on breakthrough technologies, for example, nuclear or rocket technologies, are accepted at the international level only after several countries have acquired them. Competition for leading the AI field at the national level is likely to even trigger the outbreak of World War III,” says Krylov.
Skynet and terminator
Is the war between AIs possible, or a global military cataclysm resulting from the decision made by AI?
“The more perfect AI will be, the less likely it is to make decisions on the destruction of people, even if the task assignment for AI will carry such consequences. Military actions by AI can only be caused in case of imperfect systems or systems maliciously designed by people,” believes Professor Krylov.
Scientists and politicians all over the world argue whether it is possible to combine AI defense systems in different countries into a single system, so they will not consider each other as enemies.
Proponents of the association argue that in this way it will be possible to achieve good synergy in the development and create a single cybernetic space, which is much easier to manage than a dozen different complex systems.
Opponents believe that in case of a failure, robotic systems will destroy each other, since they are programmed for war, thus, humanity will have a chance to survive. In any case, many scientists, politicians and businesspersons urge the scientific community of all countries to conduct developments, taking into account the limitations of the omnipotence of AI implemented in program codes. Indeed, no matter how fantastic it looks today, smart weapons can become not only tools in future wars, but also their cause.Show More Show less
Aug 18 2019Article
New Way to Implement AR: Saves Lives and Treats PatientsIt’s common knowledge, that VR and AR are rapidly gaining popularity with youth providing them with incredible game experience. But, in fact, these technologies are to help in a great variety of fields.
Performing as something extremely new, they add the so-called «fresh look» to the problems, that we call urgent. It’s interesting to know, what role the game technology can play in saving people’s lives. For instance, let’s touch upon medicine, probably, the most accurate science.
AR in the medical industry: already existing tools
There can be a lot of options to use VR/AR in healthcare: surgical navigation systems, venipuncture procedures, simulation of vision, empowered brain for disabled, AR-enabled documentation, training, games for kids, indoor navigation to name a few. This technology can help surgeons become more efficient at surgeries. Whether they are conducting a minimally invasive procedure or locating a tumor in the liver, AR healthcare apps can help save lives and treat patients seamlessly.
AR agency Zappar has worked with a number of companies to successfully integrate the cutting-edge technology into medicine. For example, at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, thanks to this app, teachers conduct lessons on virtual human subjects. During these lessons, students see a representation of a human body in 3D and navigate through the layers of skin, muscle, blood, organs, and skeleton within an anatomy app.
Another solution presented by Zappar is Accuray Radixact. This app for AR & MR Product Visualisation allows businesses to showcase medical devices at conferences/events. With Accuray Radixact, medical organizations save time and money transporting the actual devices. Obviously, Zappar contributes to making AR simple and affordable to be implemented within the medical field.
Bell Integrator CEO Blair Newman provides impressive statistics and data on how helpful AR can be in the medical industry:
"We are seeing a lot of options to use VR/AR in medicine. Nurses find veins on the first stick 3.5x more likely with Augmented Reality.
Doctors can show a simulation of a patient’s vision. For instance, the app can demonstrate the impact of Cataract or AMD and thus help patients understand their actual medical state.
AR transforms wearables into neuro-assistive devices for the educational challenges of autism to help children with their social skills, language, and positive behaviors. The technology helps visually impaired to live a more independent life, navigating them and describing the environment they are in."
How AR can help optimize medical business processes
AR can also help optimize business processes at medical organizations. It enables doctors to view critical work information right in their field-of-view and interact with it. Physicians do not have to check their computers during patient visits. Medical notes are still generated in real time. As a result, the burden of administration on medical professionals is eased: they can leave their workplace on time every day, complete the administrative requirements easily, while they can still diagnose and treat more patients. Besides, this technology can also be used for indoor navigation to help patients and their visitors find their way to their destinations easily.
AR to enhance the hospital environment
Moreover, AR technology could be very helpful in transforming the hospital environment. For kids, AR has incredible potential to reduce isolation from friends and family outside the hospital. AR gaming enhances the patient experience and encourages fine motor movement. For example, it can bring coloring pages or photo walls to life. This entertains young patients going through difficult experiences. The technology helps them lie still and relaxed during MRI procedures by redirecting their attention away from their illnesses and medical testing to something more fun and pleasant.
To sum it up, there are so many ways how the world can apply VR and AR not just for entertaining, but for making our life easier. It can bear fruit in the field of science and technology.Show More Show less
Aug 5 2019Article
Passports of the Future: How We are Going to Prove Our IdentitiesToday fewer and fewer countries rely on old paper passports to identify citizens. Small books with photos are being replaced by biometric documents that will soon be replaced by digital passports issued on plastic cards and smartphones with NFC. Let’s look to the future and find out how the registration of citizens in digital states will be arranged.
Passports of the future
Migration to electronic passports is an important step for any state and implementation of an e-government strategy. However, if conventional passports are simple to deal with – they can be easily produced, read and supplemented with various marks, then electronic passports require more attention to details and technical base. The main advantage of electronic documents is the data amount that they can carry.
If a fairly limited set of personal data can be entered in a traditional passport, the electronic version is a more meaningful tool for proving a person’s identity. Different countries provide a different set of information. Electronic passports can contain information on a blood type, medical insurance, and other information. However, such data may not be available for a passport holder.
It will be necessary to obtain special equipment to read this data. And in this case some difficulties may occur, for example, when concluding private transactions, we are used to proving an identity with passport data, which is open and can be easily read in a paper document. If some of this information is only available using an electronic reader, then this will cause a number of problems for people who do not have this equipment. It is possible that the spread of electronic passports will be the impetus for the standardization of the reading technology.
A general standard or home appliance will be introduced for getting basic data from an e-passport chip. Everything will depend on to what extent passport data will be in demand not only by special services. But they will definitely have to spend money on means of technical control, as it is planned that passports will combine other key services and rights. For example, passports will confirm the right to drive a car. For this purpose, it will be required not only to make a relevant entry, but also implement a procedure following which it will be possible to withdraw the right to drive without retaining or changing the passport itself. It is planned that passports will only serve as identifiers, while all relevant data will be stored on remote servers. That means by inserting the passport into the reading device, you can prove your identity, and each organization or employee of a certain structure will see a list of rights and opportunities assigned to this passport.
Many countries are planning to place a passport on a chip card. Europeans are ready to move even further and allow proving your personality with the help of a smartphone with an NFC chip. It will only be necessary to launch a special app on a smartphone. It is a convenient solution that excludes the possibility of losing a passport card and its fraud. Besides, smartphones as data “keepers” seem quite reliable. Based on this feature, serious payment systems already operate and allow paying for purchases at the terminals. This means that the security system is at a high level, similar to the banking one.
Does digital mean reliable?
Yes, digital passports are a reliable way to identify a holder. All data about a person is encrypted and stored on the network. If we talk about such passports in terms of the reliability of information storage – they are certainly better than paper ones. No one except for the holders of special devices can access biometric or other, more detailed information, than the one marked on the carrier card.
Losing a digital passport is easy, on the one hand, and very difficult on the other. At this stage, a person needs to have a physical chip carrier, which is a card or a smartphone. But it doesn’t mean that the system cannot function without a piece of plastic. Would you agree that when information is stored on servers, there is no need to use it on the chip? This chip is a proof that the owner has passed a certain stage of state identification. But there are other ways to identify a person. Only in the last few years, new methods of biometric identification have emerged. Thus, iris or complex face and fingerprint testing can serve as a passport as well. Do not forget about the recognition system based on microchips implanted under the skin. Just a few years, and a citizen can be implanted with a passport at birth.
If we talk about the security of the existing digital data, then suggested solutions are quite reliable. But all depends on the server protection, where lists of our data and rights will be stored. If they can be edited without authorization, then it will result in much greater problems than paper documents fraud. As you know, paper fraud can be easily identified. But electronic traces are not so easy to notice, so the main developers’ task is to maximize protection of data that will be in remote access.
Why are paper passports still used?
Paper documents will continue to exist for quite a long time despite progress in the creation of digital identification methods. The problem lies in the legislation of various states and financial costs to implement the latest technologies. Besides, digital documents will always be in focus of cyber criminals. Moreover, experts believe that the transition to digital passports will push the development of the shadow business, aimed at falsifying or altering such documents. And if the turnover of paper passports can still be controlled by simply counting the number of printed copies, then everything is not so simple with digital passports.
Governments of numerous countries are ready to expand the use of digital documents, but they are not sure that they can refuse from paper ones. To do this, first, it is necessary to create a single standard for reading and recording information, to merge databases of all citizens of any state. In fact, it contradicts the current world structure, with separate states and unions. Therefore, we can confidently say that a paper passport or its equivalent that will be used for stamps and visas will exist for a very long time. Local projects within each state will be developed. However, it leads to another problem – excessive collection of personal data. After all, if it is possible to limit the amount of data about a person in the paper passport, then the digital version implies an unlimited number of lines and personal data.Show More Show less
Jul 30 2019Article
Top 5 Countries That Accepted BlockchainIt’s safe to say that blockchain has been one of the most trending topics recently. It has appeared around 10 years ago as another mediocre technology. Blockchain wasn’t expected to grow into this giant which disrupts everything on its way. It has already been implemented in such industries as healthcare, public sector, finance, and retail and still, there are horizons for its further development.
Despite its popularity and wide range of ways to implement, some people are still skeptical about the reasonability of blockchain. Many governments don’t have a legislative basement for introducing blockchain into their vital sectors. It could be a good option to solve the issues of security, upgrade the voting systems of countries, or optimize energy and regulation blocks. Nevertheless, there are countries that have already accepted blockchain and cryptocurrency and are actively transforming their most important sectors and industries. So let’s have a look at the Top 5 countries that have already considered blockchain and cryptocurrency legal.
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has been dealing with the guidances on Bitcoin since 2013. The last one was issued on May 9, 2019. According to this guidance, the Treasury has defined Bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency. It is accepted as a form of payment on several online marketplaces and from service providers, such as Shopify, OKCupid, and Overstock. Moreover, there are shops and restaurants all over the country where you can pay with BTC. Bitcoin mining is legal in the US too. When it comes to Bitcoin payments, they are subject to the same anti-money laundering regulations that apply to transactions in traditional currencies. But due to bitcoin’s anonymity, it can be used by scammers to sell drugs or illegal goods, so-called Dark Web.
Being the home of the Ethereum blockchain creator, Vitalik Buterin, Canada has become a technological hub of blockchain development. The Bank of Canada, Payments Canada, and R3, a distributed database technology company has presented research. It covers the possibilities of how decentralized technology could transform the wholesale payments system. The country is already on the way of introducing some of the findings into their own finance system.
Canada allows using cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and service on the Internet and in stores if they accept cryptocurrencies. Individuals can buy and sell cryptocurrencies at so-called digital currency exchanges.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation in Switzerland started in 2014. The Swiss Federal Council published a report which defined cryptocurrencies as property that can be traded on the Internet. Besides, Switzerland admits quite a big range of advantages that blockchain and virtual currencies could bring. Having realized that there’s a lack of legislature basement for relevant dealing with cryptocurrencies, the government tries to create favorable conditions for businesses. For example, businesses still have the right to use virtual currencies as their payment method. They don’t have to wait for regulations to come and structure the whole process. Instead, they are exempted from the right to have a banking license, with the only condition. They only have to inform their customers about the fact that the deposits are not protected by deposit insurance.
In fact, Japan was the first country which introduced the term of virtual cryptocurrency and created laws regulating activity with it. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) delivered a report in 2014 and 2015. It formed a registration system for cryptocurrency exchange businesses. Besides, it defined virtual cryptocurrencies transactions subjected to money laundering regulations and created a legislature basement to protect its users. Japan pays much attention to the data and assets security of its users. A recent hacking attack on Coincheck in January, 2018 resulted in huge financial losses. After this the government has made a decision to create Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association. It helps avoid future attacks by inspecting actors on the virtual currencies market.
Belarusian government tries to establish favorable conditions for the IT industry development and for blockchain in particular. On March 28, 2018 there was introduced a decree which states that Belarus officially recognizes bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. According to the decree all operations with digital money (ICOs, cryptocurrency creation and exchange, etc.) are legal with no restrictions. Income from tokens mining, creation, buying and exchange is not taxed. There isn’t an obligation to pay VAT while transferring the cryptocurrency ownership rights to other people, even to foreign organizations. It is not required to get a license to carry out activities for technical protection of information. Therefore, Belarus managed to build a mature export-oriented software development industry and became a significant player on the IT services market in Europe.Show More Show less
Jul 22 2019Article
When Will Robots and AI Replace Humans in BusinessEach year the use of automation solutions is increasing in all areas of business. People entrust artificial intelligence with more and more tasks that perform operations not only better than humans do, but also much cheaper. Experts say that soon robots and AI will oust entire professions from the market. Let’s have a look at what jobs robots and AI are eligible for today.
Experts believe that the use of robots in business is not only possible, but also necessary. For many years, software robots have been applied in various industries, and even in small and medium businesses. The main task of these software systems is to replace manual labor, verify various indicators, and generate reporting. The use of physical robots is less widespread. More often, they are applied in automated assembly lines, mechanical engineering, and heavy industry.
Robotization is actively entering all business areas. Even the sales sphere that is so human-specific is no exception. Of course, in the near future, robots won’t completely replace humans in this field, and the job of a sales manager will be in demand till buyers are interested in lively personalized communication. But partial automation of this area has already occurred. Technologies were able to optimize some activities of managers, simplifying their lives and directing their knowledge and skills to solving more complex and important business tasks.
For example, the work of a sales department depends on a quality operation of a call-center, and today they often use various sorts of bots that make calls to clients and carry out initial communication. It definitely saves time and resources: using a smart machine, you can record a voice message for a potential client or even build an entire dialogue script. Also, to simplify a dialing process for a manager, a dialing software is often used which improves processes. For example, with the help of an IT service, an employee can make up to 250 calls per day, and the total talk time with clients rises up to 6 hours a day, which is almost two to three times more than if a person works independently. It significantly automates the process, since the manager no longer needs to listen to beeps and waste time on template phrases. This approach is actively used, for example, in the tourist business.
Modern CRM systems also greatly contribute to the robotization of business, as they allow managers to complete up to 150 tasks per day on each client. And some IT solutions even allow customizing automated sales funnels with personalized offers for discounts and promotions to market low-priced products that precede the purchase of a truly targeted product.
It is possible and necessary to develop technologies because it helps us become faster, more efficient, and accurate. But so far, no technology can replace 100% human response in all unforeseen situations and dialogues.
According to experts, the main application of robots and artificial intelligence in business lies in performing work that is dangerous to humans.
Already today, there are a number of robotic systems that are successfully used by different industries. Now it is mainly engineering or service robotics that can be used to replace the heavy physical and dangerous human labor. We can observe a large number of demolition robots in mines, smelters in the nuclear power industry. They are becoming increasingly popular in the construction business. When reconstructing the infrastructure, such robotic machines show high performance.
The greatest difficulty in the creation of robotics is now the development of certain tasks robots cannot adapt. Therefore, for some business tasks, it is more profitable to use a robotic arm, for others – an anthropomorphic robot, and for cleaning the house – a robot vacuum cleaner. The choice of design in favor of anthropomorphic robots for the near future may be dictated more by an aesthetic component than the functional one. Talking about business, it is impossible to exclude the factor of production profitability, those robots that will bring profit will be used, and not those that look somehow special. Machine learning is certainly important, but at this stage of technology development, it’s impossible to leave robots to themselves. Just because if they make a mistake when learning, they will not even know that they are wrong. Machines can learn to write programs, thus facilitating the human work, but the last word should always be left to the person, simply because the robot will not be responsible for the decision made.
Can robots take peoples’ jobs?
Professions have appeared and disappeared throughout human existence. And robots have nothing to do with it. For example, as cars were invented, the profession of a cab driver disappeared, but the job of a taxi driver was introduced. The same thing is happening today. Robots replace people in their workplaces, but at the same time, new vacancies and areas of activity appear, such as programmers who build those robots. Everything leads to reduction of vacancies that require low-skilled labor and increase in the number of highly intellectual tasks.
Jobs disappear and appear. It was previously like that, it is so now, and the situation won’t change. Will robots be able to govern a state? Probably not. Too much is tied to the relationship between politicians of different countries and agreements between them. Theoretically, this is possible only if a single artificial intelligence is created that will be able to govern all countries. However, it is hard to implement in practice, as a single state doesn’t exist, and there is a large number of countries. When a robot controls one country, competing countries will instantly dominate. Therefore, this idea is utopian.
But there is another opinion – the emergence of new professions reduces the chances of people not capable of intellectual work to get a job. Therefore, we can say that robots will not be able to destroy any profession, but people themselves will do it. We will replace all workers with robots. Humans will have to retrain for new professions related to creativity, building of new things and testing of prototype products. Can anyone become creative?
However, robots from the near future will build interchangeable and improved parts for themselves and in this way evolve. Whether people will be able to catch up with them is a big question.Show More Show less
Jul 7 2019Article
What Language to Choose to Talk to AIThe development of the modern technologies of artificial intelligence requires implementing the latest approaches to its programming and learning. Scientists are opening up new opportunities for using AI and its areas of application to developers. All this requires updating software development tools.
How developers choose the language for AI
The choice of a programming language when developing AI systems depends on whether it is a question of developing a model and its training, or writing a code for a target platform where a trained (inference) model will operate. Some aspects should be taken into account that relate to the need for additional training of the model during the operation or use of the Reinforcement Learning technology.
As a rule, target platforms use a number of restrictions; pre-compiled trained models for execution in the environment of low-level C-family languages are downloaded on them.
The relevance of a programming language in this context is determined by its ability to meet three basic requirements:
- Ease of complex models development and the availability of macroprogramming frameworks.
- Accessibility of open codes for study solving problems of AI implementation.
- Ability to port the developed model code to the required target platforms after training.
A large number of AI projects in the open access (for example, on Github), the presence of the well-established communities around Stack Overflow and other forums for Python programmers allow considering it as the language that complies with the requirement for accessible study.
Finally, such frameworks as Google Services and others provide an efficient migration of the developed Python programs to the target platforms, which greatly speeds up the transfer of the developed models into production. Thus, the requirement for code porting is met.
C ++ can be considered the second relevant language, in which many models are developed for execution in a distributed environment. However, it is inferior to Python due to the limited number of AI frameworks in this language.
Java can be called the third most relevant language for the implementation of AI models.
How languages improve as AI progresses
Today we should not associate the development of AI technologies with the improvement of programming languages.
To develop AI models, universal and convenient languages are applied, not specialized ones. It allows developers to keep up with a constantly updating variety of AI technologies with no need to study new tools.
Today there is a trend towards the complication of development. It is natural, since each new technology and AI cause the emergence of more complex models, the training of which requires sophisticated calculations over huge data sets that are combined into special structures, such as high-ranking tensors.
The task of new software tools is to minimize the growth of model complexity for developers. Tensors become objects with controlled functions that are called within the same programming language as previously.
Make it easier and cheaper
Today the development of AI projects can be considered complicated because there are not so many professionals on the market who understand the machine learning paradigm. Quite often companies face the challenge of finding developers and managers for AI-based projects.
Another aspect is the need to use specific hardware and software platforms during the development process. They are quite expensive even when renting in cloud services.
In this case, another problem arises, that is the search of qualified administrators and DevOps engineers. Overcoming the personnel gap between a narrow layer of highly skilled developers and researchers and developers of applied industrial AI is an important task. Solving this problem will allow transferring the development of AI projects from “complex” to “ordinary” ones.
The cost reduction of AI developments can occur with the enhancement of tools. The efficient direction here can be the enhancement of visual programming tools of the trained models. An example would be Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio. It is also necessary to take into account the active use of powerful AI for building other specialized AI according to specifications, as implemented in Cloud AutoML and Auto-Keras open framework.
The language of the future
With the development of AI tools, the focus will shift from programming languages to user interfaces for interacting with powerful designers of machine learning models.
However, since real projects, as a rule, are not purely trained machines, there will always be a need for the so-called “software glue” to combine technologically heterogeneous components into a single project. And the role of such a “glue” will remain behind a convenient programming language that will suit not only developers of AI components, but also other parts of the software project.
In future, frameworks for building learning models will be improved. They will gradually be included in the number of tools for visual programming and will be easily integrated with cloud-based AI.
It is likely that soon AI will be able to program itself. NASNet Google was the first example of creating a learning model for AI by another artificial intelligence. It was generated by Google AutoML in 2017. Since then, this AI has reproduced quite a few specialized “artificial children.”
Thanks AI TIME JOURNAL for sharing Artezio expertise :)Show More Show less
Jun 30 2019Article
How Technology can Change Business: from Startups to InnovationsAutomation is considered to be a part of business. To be more precise, it’s a process which helps businesses to grow and develop. Some experts still believe that IT technologies can’t change business dramatically. Definitely, any industry is based on certain principles, and automated solutions either speed up or slow down their implementation. Has the construction business changed due to the use of new equipment and technologies? On the one hand, it has. Houses are built faster, and they have become safer and more comfortable. However, the building process itself – from laying the foundation to bricklaying – remains the same. Houses aren’t grown in special greenhouses, and nanorobots don’t build them. So what’s the point of IT for business?
IT as the main trend of our time
We live in the age of the rapid technology evolution, and this speed is merciless to those who stay in the old paradigm of business development. It relates to each industry and market and causes system changes inside of them. The more diverse and unstructured the market is, the more serious revolutions it will face in the next 5-10 years.
Automation is the core trend of our time. The main players strive for process automation in all the areas, from the service industry to education sector. Such platforms as YouDo and Skyeng which bring a client and service provider together are based on robotization. Thanks to AI and big data analysis, the platforms automate complicated intellectual processes. The platforms help structure the market and mitigate tensions between the client and service provider.
Perhaps more complicated expert issues will be solved in the same way very soon, for example, marketing or HR consulting. It’s safe to say that it’s already a reality, and there is some evidence. Prices are getting more transparent, a new class of specialists is being formed, and the result of launching new startups is becoming more predictable. This is the future which exists already today but is still sporadic.
Innovations and startups: what can change IT business?
According to the experts, it’s innovations that are the main reason for changes in the IT business. They let develop new fundamental solutions which are implemented in our daily life. Startups don’t really affect the IT business globally but with no doubt contribute to its development. As a rule, startups are created by specialists who actively use the existing IT solutions and enhance them. For example, Ark startup was built on the solution aiming to integrate the blockchain networks, which were previously not compatible. TrustToken developed an extremely flexible system that allows working with real assets, such as stocks, shares, patents, and real estate. All this influences the IT business, develops it, and opens new horizons for opportunities.
It is worth noting that usually large companies regulate the IT business. To achieve some changes, the communication between main players and startups should be set up. Startups need to know the restrictions in which large companies operate, while the market leaders should take into account the agility of startups. If this interaction is introduced, the speed of changes will be high.
The horizon of changes
A new ecosystem will be created around companies engaged in digitalization. It will be more attractive for investors, therefore, businesses should start thinking about it right now. Innovative technology solutions are likely to appear on the market, investments in already known technologies, such as IoT, will only increase.
Speaking of the main trends that influence business, first, IoT should be mentioned which is becoming necessary almost in any industry.
IoT solutions let businesses get valuable analytical information that is extremely necessary for the process of digitalization. Many similar technologies become smart, for instance, data storages based on software which is capable of searching and processing content in decentralized packages of structured and unstructured data for its further analyzing, formatting and indexing. For example, Hitachi Content Intelligence software allows extracting data and transferring it to working structures for further processing.
To implement such solutions, IT departments should interact more closely with operational business processes. It would let them focus on actual enterprise goals and determine the scope and direction of an IoT project together with top management.
The blockchain technology still has a great impact on business. It continues to evolve due to the active use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain implementation in the finance sector to solve industry-related issues. Blockchain-based solutions for internal processes regulation, such as KYC (Know Your Customer) and CIP (Customer Identification Program), working with client documentation, reporting, and much more, are going to be implemented in the finance sector this year.
Another big trend is digital transformation. It will lead to a higher speed of operation processing, reducing manual work, which requires increased costs. Companies will extract valuable information from big data and BI.
Machine learning and process automation contribute to the automation of routine operations. It will help move to digital economy to make sure that more time is spent on making decisions that are valuable to business instead of dealing with routine operations.
Are global changes coming soon?
Due to the gradual digitalization of processes, global economic changes are simply inevitable. But it takes time for the public to notice the changes and be happy with them. Innovations and startups are changing business incrementally, sometimes overcoming impediments and law restrictions. For example, blockchain could be more popular and world-spread if legislation systems of many countries were more flexible in terms of cutting-edge technologies.
The transition to digital technologies causes fears about data security. GDPR, a recent regulation in EU law that requires businesses to protect personal data, has become an impediment for blockchain development in Europe. Therefore, not all technological innovations can be applied in all areas. Business experts claim that an integrated system of legislation synchronization could be a way to implementing innovations into the business sector. For example, the introduction of Ministry of Technology could speed up the process of legislation adaption to fast modern technologies and tools. But there are still no such organizations in the world. Even developed countries face this problem when laws have to catch up with technologies.
Nevertheless, business is still developing. Already today, there is a transition to a model that encourages companies to develop their own program solutions and manage processes inside their company. If 20-25 years ago, it was popular to produce hardware, 10-15 – implement software, then now solutions grown within a company are getting more attention. Companies start investing in unique projects that have a world value. It lets them compete on the market not only today but also in decades when business will become fully digitalized.Show More Show less
Jun 30 2019Press release
Artezio Included in the Latest Global Outsourcing 100 RatingInternational Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) published an up-to-date criteria-based rating of top outsourcing service providers The Global Outsourcing 100. For the second year in a row, Artezio keeps its position in the Rising Star category.
According to IAOP, in 2019 companies and private customers who are interested in quality outsourcing services can be guided by The 2018 Global Outsourcing 100. It features the criteria that help distinguish top outsourcing service providers among other equivalent companies.
“The retrospective of top companies that IAOP published a few months ago doesn’t replace The 2018 Global Outsourcing 100," says Michael Forbes, Managing Director, Membership IAOP.
The Global Outsourcing 100 list is compiled based on several key criteria. They allow evaluating the quality of service provided, staff quantity, development pace, implementation of new technologies and approaches as well as clients’ reviews, and other important criteria.
The Rising Star category, where Artezio has been listed since 2017, includes the companies that are actively developing on the market.
“Artezio is on the way of active development. We take part in large international projects where cutting-edge technologies and tools are implemented. It helps the company grow solidly engaging qualified specialists and expect an increase in market opportunities thanks to new projects and clients from Europe and EU,” says Artezio CEO Pavel Adylin.
The compiling of the next regular rating The Global Outsourcing 100 will start in September 2019. It will be officially released in spring 2020 and will feature all the categories and key criteria of economic and quality growth of the participants.Show More Show less
Jun 16 2019Article
How Does the Digital Transformation in Agriculture Occur?For quite a long time, agriculture was an area where high tech and automated solutions were difficult to adopt. Whereas it was easy to implement an automated line or a quality control system, or build an AI-based solution in any production, agriculture has always been an area of expensive and complex implementations.
Why do fields and dairy farms not "love" IT?
Historically, the high cost of solutions and their components hampered the wide use of technologies in agriculture. As a rule, technology solutions for farms were distinguished by their large size and high-energy consumption. This all led to difficulties in the organization of service and repair. And it is critical for agriculture, where equipment is often operated in rough conditions.
However, the possibility of fully automating work in the field has existed for a long time. The problem lies in the economic dimension of such decisions. Today the situation has changed and real assistance in agriculture can be obtained using a small drone and a smartphone for control. However, it is only possible when we talk about simple monitoring tasks. Managing a farm, planting or harvesting using a tablet – doesn’t work without specialized solutions and technology. Thanks to the spread of simple solutions, complex ones gradually lose in value and become affordable.
The farm on the smartphone
It is possible to manage entire farms via smartphones, and it’s no longer an idea of the distant future, but the reality of the modern world. This is a normal practice, and it is technically not as difficult to do, as it may seem at first glance. To automate the process of animal housing, special systems are used to control humidity and temperature, air velocity, lighting, feeding, and watering. More sophisticated and modern equipment can reduce the need for labor. Besides, people tend to make mistakes, but cars do not. Nevertheless, it is necessary to take into account a number of aspects. It is important to understand how timely and appropriate the introduction of new technologies is and whether it can pay off.
Here is a real case: about 10 years ago, an owner of one of the largest agricultural holdings in Europe saw a sausage factory in Bulgaria that had almost no employees. Last year, a similar plant opened in one of the EU countries. Of course, the project is interesting, the factory is unique, but it will be paying off for at least ten years.
For a long time, agriculture was not an attractive area for investment. Potential investors were frightened by a long production cycle and the fact that natural phenomena could lead to crop losses, and it was impossible to automate biological processes.
Today automation and digitization of agriculture are attracting more and more investments, since automated production implies a predictable level of costs. Meanwhile, labor is expensive because of taxes, and it involves unpredictable expenses. Not surprisingly, many enterprises aim for modernization and move from manpower to machine labor. The main problem in this field is a long payback on the cost of production automation.
The farm of the future
This year in March, World Agri Tech Innovation Summit 2019 took place. The conference has been held twice a year since 2013 and is considered one of the main events in the ag-tech (agrotechnology) industry. This is a meeting place for international investors, promising startups, technology giants and leading companies in the agro-business field. The summit brings together experts discussing best practices, innovative developments, and opportunities for their commercialization. According to the moods, trends and innovations that have already appeared and will soon spread to the agricultural sector, we can say that a “farm of the future” managed via a smartphone is a question of three, maximum five years.
One of the trends is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to analyze the situation in the field. It is believed that particularly sensitive sensors can be installed on irrigation systems, or on quad bikes and agricultural equipment in the form of receivers, not to mention drones and compact satellites. Data collected by these sensors will be digitized and transmitted either to cloud servers or special hubs, where AI will analyze the information received about the soil condition, the presence of harmful insects or the first signs of plant disease, and then transfer the analysis results with further recommendations to a farmer's tablet or smartphone. The second point is the autonomous operation of robotics. After the analysis, it is not the farmer himself who is going to irrigate a specific arid part of the field, spray pesticides or fertilize the field, special equipment or drones will go instead. The third trend is the unmanned vehicles. That is, after all mentioned above, the farmer approves the recommendations proposed by the system on a tablet or smartphone and authorizes the equipment for further independent actions. Therefore, a quad bike or a tractor independently navigated by a GPS system or a farmer, at this moment lying on the couch, moves to a specific part of the field to solve the encountered problem.
All mentioned above is a question of a few years, as companies are already creating and testing prototypes for these purposes. Moreover, preliminary numbers for the purchase, establishment and maintenance of such decisions have already been provided. There is even a digital platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling seeds, crop protection agents, and fertilizers. It allows automating the search for suppliers, purchasers, providing additional channels of communication with colleagues or receiving consulting support from manufacturers. All these services are now available in a single application installed on a user's smartphone or computer.
What is working today?
Today, agriculture successfully uses drones and AI software solutions for crop planning. It allows effective distribution of the free area for planting crops and taking into account the specifics of each area for growing certain crops. Another innovation is the cloud-based monitoring of pumping stations of water supply systems in agricultural complexes and small farms that deal with crop production, livestock, and poultry farming. It is possible to manage the water supply system via a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.
At the same time, the system monitors over 100 parameters of the pumping station in the agricultural complex (farm) and warns of important changes, it can customize and archive parameters. Due to this, the system optimizes the technological process, efficiently uses energy resources, and reduces the cost of water supply.
Another solution is relevant for farms and allows using AI and IoT together in agriculture. It deals with the logistics of livestock. Special devices that feed cows, track not only the parameters of animal health, but also their daily activities. These parameters allow the prediction of the quality and volume of milk produced in a better way.
The machine vision is also applied in agriculture. For example, a startup Aquabyte taught the computer how to feed fish on a specially designed farm. Machine vision and AI allowed optimizing the use of feed, as well as improving the quality of the living condition of fish.
The solution of Soft Robotics is among the latest IT innovations in agriculture. The company produces robotic arms with soft grips that can be used to handle delicate items such as fruits and vegetables in processing plants.
What awaits agriculture tomorrow?
Although a bit late, technologies are being introduced to agriculture. Since 2017, funding in the agrotechnology field has been growing due to investments. Compared to 2016, the inflow of investments increased by 32% to $ 2.6 billion, and 10 largest technological startups in agriculture attracted $ 50 million in private investment. The reason for the increase in the level of technological effectiveness in agriculture is that the Earth population is constantly growing, which means that we need technologies that will allow us to quickly produce products for people. In this regard, it is expected that the total industry performance will grow by 60% by 2030, and it will require technology implementation in all areas.Show More Show less
Jun 9 2019Press release
Artezio Is Among Top 10 Java Developers 2019Artezio has been included in Top 10 Java Developers 2019 by the US analysts. The rating was published by an analytical internet portal that specializes on shortlisting software development companies for buyers interested in creating or developing projects on Java or other programming languages.
“There are a few companies that differ by their expert approach to software development on Java. Certainly, it’s very difficult to distinguish the best ones from them. To successfully implement a project, you need to hire an experienced team with an Analyst, Java Developer and Project Manager, and QA Team. We want to simplify the business goal of choosing a reliable partner and have made a list of Top 10 Java Developers in 2019. Java developers with a huge expertise got into this list”, say the rating authors.
According to the analysts’ opinion, Artezio ranks second in Top 10 Java Developers with a small margin from the leader.
Evaluating Artezio’s abilities, the analysts stated that “expertise in different technologies, programming languages, and operating systems and huge experience in big data allow Artezio to create the most flexible and cost-saving business solutions”.Show More Show less
Jun 6 2019Press release
Artezio Works With New Tools Presented by Apple at WWDC 2019Multiplatform apps created for Apple devices are among the key innovations. Developers got an ability of adapting current mobile solutions to Mac PC and wearables.
“ Apple welcomes the strategy of simple migration inside the ecosystem of company’s devices. No matter you create an app for a smartphone or a tablet – it will load on PC or MacBook as well. This approach opens new horizons for developers in the creation of multiplatform solutions. Applications that ran smoothly on mobile devices now will be available on big Mac screens using other scenarios”, says the Head of the Development Center Dmitry Parshin.
Apple presented a new framework Swift UI which ultimately simplifies apps development and creates a base for implementation of various ideas and helpful solutions. It was declarative UI that many developers all over the world were waiting for.
“ Swift UI is a revolution in iOS development. It’s new yet not ideal way to the mobile applications development industry”, experts note.
Artezio specialists have already been experimenting with new tools and are searching for new ways of their implementation on large projects.
“ We are really excited to observe the technology development in the world. Some of them can completely change the process of project development and make new solutions flexible and efficient. Implementation of innovations is extremely important for the company that works on the projects that influence millions of people across the globe”, says the Head of Development Center in Artezo.Show More Show less
May 30 2019Article
How to Use Blockchain in the Healthcare SectorFor the past few years, talk around blockchain has made a lot of fuss. It has been implemented in such industries as finance & banking, retail & logistics and in the governmental sector. Such a huge interest in the blockchain technology was even compared to the dot-com boom in the early 2000s. This is happening because blockchain meets the needs of each and every company, industry, and sector. The healthcare industry is not an exception.
As with any process, the most difficult subjects should be dealt with first—for example, data fraud detection and prevention. Blockchain network could store medical prescriptions for medicine containing drug precursors and automatically cancel them if the medicine is dispensed.
Blockchain is suitable while working with distributed databases for storing medical trials results and sharing data between medical centers and insurance companies. Blockchain technology would also be helpful to control operational life of medical tools and appliances. It would be possible to store data about the medical appliances and track if required standards were being met and processes fulfilled. It would be intended to avoid random and malign use of appliances.
Experts are still debating about the reasonability and efficiency of blockchain in the healthcare sector. To understand blockchain’s place in the healthcare sector, we need to know the purpose of health information technology. And it wouldn’t affect treatment quality improvement as many customers and developers very often declare.
The role of health information technology is to create a common information space to improve the quality and speed of healthcare decision making. This makes the relevancy of blockchain more visible. It could be used in healthcare and management processes to achieve and maintain solidarity between the participants.
It should be noted that blockchain isn’t intended to store medical documents or results of medical trials. Blockchain is not a technology of distributed databases, but a technology of distributed records of the actions in these databases.
How to Use Blockchain in the Healthcare Sector
Therefore, it’s reasonable to use blockchain in the following healthcare processes:
- Waiting list management systems
Organ transplantation process is more complicated due to a big amount of regulatory acts. But in general, the same scheme could be applied: a process with many participants managed by the rules defined in advance.
- Common information space between medical centers including the centers in different countries
In this case, blockchain could simplify the situation and improve process efficiency through being a common integration channel to data access and transition according to the defined rules.
Hypothetically, a Norwegian doctor wouldn’t have to set up a VPN connection with the Portugal medical center if there was a smart contract (a code with behavioral logic of a process participants). Having got the ID of a patient and doctor the smart contract would direct them to the storage where the needed data was kept. In this situation, the aim would be to create a common pool of rules defining data access and possible updating of the systems used without global rebuilding of the whole IT architecture.
- Distributed medical processes management
Risks and Information Privacy Issues
Experts state that in theory, zero-knowledge proof algorithms could verify data without sharing it. But, anyway, personal data should be stored outside blockchain.
It’s essential to analyze risks and threats in every particular case. Implementation of this or that technology doesn’t pose a threat itself but an incorrectly planned process could cause many problems.
Blockchain implementation in the healthcare sector doesn’t deal with cryptocurrency or a distributed data ledger. It is likely to use blockchain in healthcare to improve the efficiency of complicated processes with defined rules between many participants.
The implementation of blockchain technology could be extremely efficient as an instrument regulating relations between the participants with different levels of organizational and technology development.Show More Show less
May 13 2019Article
Can Digitalization of Traffic Management Systems Solve the Traffic Congestion Problem?More than 442 million cars run on roads all over the world. A significant part of the global fleet falls on cities where cars compete for space on streets with other vehicles and pedestrians. As a result, regular traffic jams, because of which ordinary people lose their patience and time, and businesses – money. Modern technology allows building a future in which there will be no traffic jams and congestion.
Why do cars stand in traffic jams?
In real life, there is no way to get rid of traffic jams. Congestion is the reverse side of the increase in welfare, as there won’t be any traffic jams where the vast majority of the population cannot afford a car. Another thing is that the concept of "congestion" in different cities varies: what is a critical situation in Munich, in Istanbul is just the opposite. If we talk about cities in Russia, then the problem can be handled by increasing the cost of using personal transport. However, the traffic situation will not drastically change. In New York, for example, impressive progress has been achieved in terms of traffic management, but traffic jams have not disappeared yet.
One of the reasons is the extremely low density and length of the road network in Russian cities compared to European and even Asian metropolitan areas. At the same time, as shown by the American experience, the construction of new roads does not solve, but exacerbates the problem. Therefore, the world trend now is to stimulate the development of public transport and cycling infrastructure.
Large cities suffer from traffic jams more often. This is due to a large number of cars among residents, as well as the need to ensure the operation of urban and municipal transport, not to mention pedestrian traffic. Another cause of traffic jams refers to architectural miscalculations. For example, when after the Second World War the cities of the Soviet Union were rebuilt, none of the architects could have imagined that just in half a century the number of motor vehicles would increase significantly.
But even now, architects often have no idea how to solve congestion problems.
The key cause of transport problems is the ambiguous town-planning policy that allows building multi-storey buildings both on the outskirts and within the city limits. At the same time, the issues of transport service of these territories are not solved at all. A possible solution to the congestion problem can be a complete change of the paradigm of both urban development and population mobility.
In the transport industry, much hope lies on the concept of “Mobility as a service”, which is leaving personal transport in cities and sharing different types of transport (from scooters to cars and buses) using a single digital platform. Theoretically, this should unclog the road network due to a significant reduction in car fleet and a sharp decrease in the need for parking spaces. However, if the urban planning policy in our cities does not change, even the best practices of transport system management will not save us from traffic jams.
How is it possible to get rid of congestion?
In addition to planning urban infrastructure, traffic jams can be dealt with in different ways. For example, adjusting traffic flows wisely, taking into account the time of day, the traffic situation, and other factors. Traditionally, cities use a common traffic control system with signs and traffic lights. Signs are a passive way to slow down the flow in some places, speed up in other places and thereby minimize the risk of traffic jams. As for traffic lights, they work according to special algorithms that are controlled by a special traffic management service. Previously, experts of this service used to set up a special program for traffic lights that allowed them to work independently. Now the traffic is a network of traffic lights that can be controlled by changing parameters remotely.
Experts believe that we should take an integrated approach to solve the problem of traffic jams. They say that it is not necessary to single out a separate task of managing traffic in a modern metropolis. The goal or task can be formulated much more widely – it is the most effective satisfaction of the transport needs of the citizens. And it should be solved in a consistent manner, where the transport planning issues are solved at the first stage. At the second stage, methods for the implementation of transport correspondence are developed that take into account these links: for example, public transport or individual transport. Next, what public transport is used: rail, road, street/off-street transport. And only at the very last stage traffic control and traffic management technologies are used for one of the segments.
Examples of problem solving
Experts believe that only technical tools can’t solve the problem of traffic jams. Management technologies are de facto in the second place.
Solutions to traffic control and traffic management issues depend on the method of solving previous problems. And there are different approaches:
- aimed at the predominance of individual transport
- aimed at the development of transport infrastructure
- or vice versa – to control the use of individual transport and the development of transport infrastructure in downtown areas with a focus on pedestrian or light transport.
Any country, any government and authority engaged in the organization of transport services for the population, first of all, needs to position itself depending on two factors. The first factor is the position of the city in terms of the growth of motorization and the level of use of individual transport. The second one is the mentality of its citizens. For example, the mentality of Europeans implies a greater development of foot traffic, ground passenger transport, and the mentality of people in Asia, partly South America, involves the use of multi-level solutions, underground space and minimizing open pedestrian traffic in city streets.
Why is there no packaged software for traffic management?
It would seem that for many years of dealing with traffic jams, it was possible to develop a universal software and hardware solution. City officials would love to buy a packaged software to fight traffic congestion, with a set of, say, sensors, traffic lights and cameras. But, unfortunately, such a solution simply does not exist.
“ There are no such solutions, and they cannot be developed. The thing is that there are no universal cities in the world. Each city is different in architecture and transport. Accordingly, it is difficult to offer some kind of technical solution that absolutely suits everyone. Even today, when we say that artificial intelligence can process large amounts of data and, in fact, manage urban traffic, it is impossible to train one artificial brain for all cities. In each case, it will be necessary to train AI on the example of specific streets and traffic flows”, believes Dmitry Parshin, Artezio technical expert.
City streets represent a huge database. But you need to transfer it to a digital form so that computer systems and artificial intelligence can analyze it. This requires sensors and a single "smart city" system.
Cities will become smarter, and what about roads?
The idea to integrate smart solutions into urban infrastructure is not new. For several years, large companies have been developing them to automate the management of urban systems. For example, in the UK, on separate tracks, sensors are installed under the roadway. They allow traffic operators to monitor the load on the road. The system is called Midas or Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signaling.
Another unusual solution describes a patent that was issued by Ford. It utilizes the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for traffic management. In fact, we are talking about encouraging driving behavior on the road. For example, a driver will receive a reward in the form of cryptocurrency for driving on a road section at a given speed. You can earn a bonus for a certain driving manner or close attention to drivers of other vehicles. Ford suggest introducing “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass System” ( CMMP). It should monitor, record, and evaluate the drivers’ behavior.
Another auto giant Volkswagen has gone even further. It intends to develop a quantum computer for analyzing the traffic situation. According to Engadget, a quantum computer will replace current traffic patterns developed by supercomputers.
Data on the road load is collected via video cameras or motion sensors – based on the number of cars that crossed a certain line. Sensors are needed primarily for data collection, but the information from sensors still needs to be processed and, a decision needs to be taken whether to turn on/off the traffic lights, block the entrance or, on the contrary, open new lines for transportation. However, experts believe it would be better if it’s not the roads or cities that will get smarter, but the transport itself.
Unmanned vehicles, "Internet of vehicles"
“ Indeed, unmanned vehicles are an elegant solution to all problems of urban traffic,” believes Vladimir Krylov, the professor of mathematics, Artezio AI expert.
“ Undoubtedly, outstanding success of AI is demonstrated in the support of fourth-level self-driving cars (not requiring driver attention). Today unmanned vehicles are already a reality. I think that the next step of introducing AI into the transport area is the development of transport systems based on mobile vehicles and environmental objects that exchange information: traffic signs, traffic lights, bridges, structures, road sections. No other technology except for AI can be a solution for coordinated and secure maintenance of such systems. By the way, the general name of this development direction is Connected Vehicles ,” says Vladimir Krylov.
The use of unmanned vehicles and the system of connected objects in the road environment will radically change the traffic situation. We will soon be using "Internet of vehicles", similar to the " Internet of things" where devices freely exchange information among themselves.
By the way, the other day Ilon Mask introduced a special chip that will accelerate the production of self-driving cars. By 2020, a million cars will receive a full-fledged unmanned mode.
Artificial intelligence will be able not only to control traffic lights, but also redirect traffic flows, and flexibly change the load on the road network. After a few years, the problem with traffic jams can finally be resolved.Show More Show less
Apr 29 2019Press release
How Acceleration of Data Transmission Channels will Affect Business
Date:Not long ago people all over the world were enthusiastic about the fourth generation of cellular communication. With the introduction of LTE, new perspectives opened up, experts predicted numerous technical revolutions and breakthroughs. But the 4G time passed quickly, and everyone started talking about the next generation – high speeds and even greater possibilities. But do cloud technologies, the Internet of Things, big data, augmented reality really require data transmission channels with ever-higher bandwidth? Why is the market looking forward to the 5G network? And what should business expect from the new standards?
What is behind the change of generations?
The 5G technology has suddenly become very popular, it is discussed by equipment manufacturers, telecom operators, and even ordinary users. The interest in changing the ordinal number in the communication generation has never been so high. For example, the very first generations – 1G and 2G were not perceived as a technological breakthrough. Even 3G that allowed mobile operators to compete with traditional Internet providers for data transfer speed did not make as much noise as 5G.
“ Everyone quickly forgot about 4G, although the potential of this technology has not yet been revealed. We already have a high data transfer speed, but there are no large projects that would use it. A new standard was introduced and used for downloading movies and music. Now we are waiting for 5G to come. We act like consumer addicts – we always want new sensations. In case of the mobile Internet – new speeds, although we are quite happy with everything,” notes the technical expert Dmitry Parshin.
Increased attention to 5G may be the result of aggressive marketing policies of equipment manufacturers. They are particularly interested in selling more operator and user devices with the support for the new format. Moreover, a change of generations is an opportunity to significantly increase sales, both of carrier and client equipment.
The mobile infrastructure has also changed due to the installation of 4G-enabled hardware and software by operators. That is why, each new generation of communication offers not only new speeds and opportunities for manufacturers of hardware and mobile chips, but also an important tool for updating the demand in competitive markets.
Marketing communications operators also stand behind the change of generations. The data transfer speed that 4G provides today is quite sufficient. But the transition to 5G will take place anyway.
Of course, ordinary users and businesses will benefit from the generation update. It is believed that the 5G standard will be one of the main technologies in the digital economy. Experts say that the revolutionary transition to 5G lies in the fact that new generation networks are created not only to meet such human needs as real-time video transmission in 4K and 8K resolutions, virtual and augmented reality services, but also for smooth operation of unmanned vehicles, providing machine-to-machine communication (M2M), Internet of Things (IoT), telemedicine, and other important software and technical developments.
The main technical difference between 5G and 4G is the high data transfer speed and minimal network delays (ping).
In the test zone of the 5G network in Innopolis, there were delays of around 1–3 milliseconds, while in the network of the previous generation the delays reached 50 milliseconds. This is a very critical indicator if we talk about services and equipment that should provide the fastest possible response in the network. These include unmanned vehicles and equipment used in the field of telemedicine.
Now there are many innovative solutions in the world that are implemented using 4G, for example, smart city technologies, digital healthcare, intelligent security systems, unmanned vehicles, etc. And the introduction of 5G will bring these technologies to a new level. The data transmission speed will increase significantly, the transmitters will start working without interference, it will be possible to “isolate” networks using each of them for Internet of Things, video broadcasting.
When the IT industry is on the threshold of the 5G era, several important tasks arise for market players at once – to identify scenarios for using this technology and form a mechanism for generating additional income at the expense of its benefits.
Analysts analyzed possible scenarios based on requirements in bandwidth and latency, and identified four types of peripheral computing for which 5G will be used:
- Virtual reality and smart cities
- Intelligent security systems and power systems
- Augmented Reality, Smart Retail
- Digital healthcare, autonomous cars, and intelligent transportation
The massive transition to 4G networks is not happening yet due to a number of constraints, among which are the fact that users have a large number of obsolete subscriber devices that the operator has to support in order not to lose these subscribers. 4G networks are currently at the peak of their development and are able to provide comfortable services for most user scenarios. But as we look to the future in 2-3 years, the needs for those services that only 5G networks can provide are already visible. Of course, it is better to start preparing for their introduction already now.
It is believed that 5G should be developed for the future. Due to the increase in data transmission capacity, the development of IMT-Advanced standards and, further, 5G will lead to a significant development of the Internet of Things. From IIOT we will go to full-format IOT. As a result, a mobile phone can turn into a control panel of everything that surrounds a person in his daily life.
Imagine an employee coming to work by his car. The video surveillance system recognizes the car number, sends a signal to the barrier through a dry contact – the barrier opens up. Having parked, the employee decides to go to the VIP-zone, where only management personnel and high-ranking guests have access. The facial recognition module, combined with the access control system, compares the face of the employee with the top management – the access is denied. The employee walks through the territory – the helmet detector sends a signal to the mobile phone of the security chief.
It turns out that the employee walked around the territory without a helmet, violating safety rules during working hours. The employee’s suspicious behavior attracted attention of the security service, and now, thanks to the PTZ cameras spread across the territory, you can see the man even in the farthest corners. It turns out that the employee goes to those places where he is not supposed to be.
The module of the left objects worked – the employee secretly left a box in one of the shop floors. Urgent notifications are sent to mobile phones of the security staff. Already on the run, the chief of the security service is commanding the doors to be closed, notifies the shift supervisors, and calls emergency services. After a couple of minutes, it turns out that the employee checked emergency preparedness on the instructions of the director,” says Vitaly Teplyashin.
When will 5G be enabled?
The problem with the new generation of communications is that people are waiting for it more than it is ready for a mass market entry.
The fifth generation of mobile communications is already being tested in many countries, but so far, telecommunications operators are not in a hurry to introduce the new technology widely. Telecom operators are not entering a new era for several reasons. Firstly, they all invested heavily in the 4G technology, and secondly, to build the necessary infrastructure for 5G in our large country will require serious resources and new investments. In addition, such a project will increase operating expenses, which logically should lead to an increase in prices for communication services, which is not beneficial for companies in the light of high competition among market players.
Now, residents of many countries need extensive and high-quality coverage with the 4G technology, which is clearly not sufficient outside large cities. At the same time, without a doubt, it can be argued that within 5-10 years, 5G networks will be widely distributed and will bring new usage scenarios that will be useful to a large circle of consumers.
Experts believe that the first network of the fifth generation will be introduced in small countries. Indeed, in a large country, building a network of a new generation will be more difficult than in Africa or the small kingdoms in Europe. It's all about spending because in order to cover large areas, significant investments are also required.
Does business need 5G? Everyone answers this question positively because the volume of transmitted traffic is constantly growing as well as consumer requests. Today, cloud technologies maintain high-definition and ultra-high-definition services. But soon we will observe mass transfer of content of even greater resolution and volume.Show More Show less
Apr 23 2019Press release
Artezio among the Top Software Developers in Eastern Europe According to the British AgencyThe British agency MAN Digital included Artezio in top IT outsourcing companies in Eastern Europe. Among the leaders are Artezio, Itransition, Cleveroad, ScienceSoft, iTechArt, and a number of other companies from Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and other European countries.
The report covers 11 Eastern European countries and, according to the authors, should help businesses decide on the choice of technical partners for the implementation of complex IT projects. “It is difficult to compile a list of the very top IT outsourcing companies in Eastern Europe. However, based on several studies and tops, we can bring together information that will help you understand who are the best players on the Eastern European IT outsourcing market,” say the authors of the research.
The British agency notes that the demand for services of companies from Eastern Europe is constantly growing.
“Businesses who need outsourcing services are starting to move away from their main focus until now India or China. Eastern Europe is a shiny new outsourcing destination for those who require high-quality software development. First of all, because Eastern European IT companies guarantee a good price-to-quality ratio and a timezone that can be easily coordinated with other locations on the globe. Besides, the IT potential of outsourcing in Eastern Europe is supported by a large number of talented specialists. According to the latest data, over a million programmers work in Eastern Europe,” sum up the MAN Digital experts.
Artezio is one of the best outsourcing companies in the world according to 100 Global Outsourcing (2017, 2018) and TOP-5000 of the fastest-growing European private companies according to Inc. magazine. In 2019, Artezio was named among the best by several international analytical agencies in the United States.Show More Show less
Apr 17 2019Press release
Artezio among Top Ten Best Belarusian Software Development CompaniesIn Belarus, Artezio has three development centers located in Minsk, Vitebsk, and Mogilev. They focus on the development of projects using ML, BI, Blockchain, Java, .NET, Python, Angular.JS, React.JS, and other technologies. In 2018, Artezio implemented many large international automation projects in the field of medical care, tourism, and finance. The company is engaged in the research of Machine Learning and AI technologies, provides custom software development services and expert consulting in the US and Eastern Europe markets.
Clutch publishes professional ratings of technology companies in various professional fields and countries. They help customers choose a competent partner for high-quality implementation of technical or business tasks. Clutch researchers analyze the situation on the development market using a patented method that takes into account not only the financial performance of software companies, but also customers’ reviews.
Artezio is one of the world best outsourcing companies according to 100 Global Outsourcing (2017) and TOP-5000 of the fastest-growing European private companies according to Inc. magazine. In 2019, Artezio was recognized by several international analytical agencies of the United States.Show More Show less
Apr 8 2019Article
What are Embeddings? How Do They Help AI Understand the Human World?The term “embedding” has become quite common in the descriptions of AI systems only during the last few years. It first appeared in the works of specialists in Natural Language Processing (NLP). It means a process or, more often, the result of a process of transforming a language entity (a word, sentence, paragraph, or the whole text) into a set of numbers — a numerical vector. In the Russian-language literature, embeddings are numerical vectors that are derived from words or other language entities. The numerical vector of k dimension is a list of k numbers, in which the order of numbers is strictly defined. For example, (2.3, 1.0, 7.35) could be considered a three-dimensional vector and (1, 0, 0, 2, 0.1, 0, 0, 7.9) — an eight-dimensional numerical vector.
In the most primitive form, word embeddings are created by simply enumerating words in some rather large dictionary and setting a value of 1 in a long dimensional vector equal to the number of words in the dictionary. For example, let’s take Ushakov’s Dictionary and enumerate all words from the first one to the last one. Thus, the word “abacus” is converted to number 5, and the “lampshade” — to 7, and so on. The total number of words in the dictionary is 85,289. The embedding of the word “abacus” will have 85,288 zeros in all positions except the 5th one, where it will be 1, and the word “lampshade” will have zeros in all 85,288 positions except the 7th one, where it will be 1. This method of building embeddings is called unitary coding, and in the modern English literature — one-hot encoding. Any sentence in Russian can be set a sequence, more correctly from a mathematical point of view to say, a tuple of such 85,289-dimensional vectors. And then actions with words can be transformed into actions with these numerical vectors, which is inherent in the computer itself. However, it is not that simple. The first problem of applying such embeddings that you will encounter is the absence of the word for which an embedding is sought in the selected dictionary. Look at Ushakov’s Dictionary mentioned above, and you will not find such a popular word as “computer” there. It is possible to significantly reduce the likelihood of such a problem by not using a special dictionary, but numbering words in an arbitrary extensive set of texts, for example, in Wikipedia, the Great Russian Encyclopedia. Today for these purposes, special sets are created called text corpuses.
What actions over numerical equivalents of words would we like to perform and why? Probably, so that the computer itself could take any actions depending on the content of the text it has, without human intervention. However, the use of corpuses does not in itself help to derive any benefit from turning a particular text into a tuple of numbers. After all, any text in a natural language is not only a collection of words, but also carries some semantics and meaning. And the task to train a computer system to somehow understand the meaning of the text, to extract semantic information from it, is unsolvable if primitive embedding is used. Therefore, the next step in NLP was made by taking into account how often each word of a language (term) is found in a corpus and how important its appearance is in a specific text. Thus, frequency embedding emerged, in which each word, in the position corresponding to its number, is assigned a number - TF - Term Frequency, or rather the corrected frequency value - TF / IDF. If everything is obvious for the first concept: for each word in the text its number of occurrences is calculated and divided by the total number of words, the second term is more complicated. IDF - Inverse document frequency stands for the inverse (inverted) frequency of the document. It is the inversion of frequency, with which a certain word appears in the corpus of texts (documents). Due to this indicator, it is possible to reduce the weight of the most widely used words (prepositions, conjunctions, common terms, and concepts). For each term within the framework of a specific corpus, only one single IDF value is provided. The TF/IDF indicator will be higher if a certain word is used with great frequency in a specific text, but rarely in other documents. Using embeddings in the form of such vectors, for the first time it was possible to carry out an automatic semantic analysis of texts, determining the topics in the corpus and classifying texts by main topics.
There are several successfully used algorithms for such analysis. Among them are the classic LSA – Latent Semantic Analysis, LDA – Latent Dirichlet Allocation, and BTM – Biterm Topic Model. The use of such models, for example, made it possible to sort out the giant flows of emails by subject and send them according to the prescribed rules. At this stage, a powerful set of technologies began to form within NLP, called NLU - Natural Language Understanding. In the revolutionary work of Tomash Mikolov and his colleagues in 2013, it was proposed to use the hypothesis of locality: “words with similar meanings occur in the same environments” (Tomas Mikolov, Ilya Sutskever, Kai Chen, Gregory S. Corrado, and Jeffrey Dean. Distributed representations of words and phrases and their compositionality. In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26: 27th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2013. Proceedings of a meeting held December 5-8, 2013, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, United States, pages 3111–3119, 2013). Proximity in this case is understood very broadly, as the fact that only matching words can stand next to each other. For example, the phrase "a wind-up alarm clock" is common to us. But we can’t say "wind-up ocean", as these words do not collocate. To obtain such properties, it is necessary to build embeddings of words in a high-dimensional vector space (but independent of the number of words). A set of 200-500 numbers matched each word, and these sets satisfied the properties of a mathematical vector space — they could be added, multiplied by scalar quantities, it was possible to find distances between them, and each such action with number vectors made sense as some action on words. The most interesting thing that resulted in multidimensional space is the transfer of many semantic relations of words to the relations of the corresponding vectors. From the point of view of mathematics, one can speak of a homomorphism of a natural language and a multidimensional vector space. All publications and lectures on embeddings today are illustrated by a famous image describing what was said.
We can see that the semantic relation MAN ~ WOMEN for embeddings of these words is reduced to the presence of a certain vector of difference between them, which is surprisingly preserved for the equivalent semantic relation UNCLE ~ AUNT, KING ~ QUEEN. This allows writing down a simple mathematical relationship: WOMAN-MAN = QUEEN-KING. Let's make a simple transformation of this formula: WOMAN-QUEEN=MAN-KING. It looks fair: a woman without the title of queen is the same thing as a man without the title of king. But the second image explains that embeddings retain the “one” ~ “many” relationship. Mikolov called the method of obtaining such embeddings as word2vec. It is based on the use of a probabilistic assessment of the joint use of word groups and the neural network that is self-learning on the corpus of texts. The idea turned out to be fruitful and soon we saw the construction of even more sophisticated models for embeddings of both individual words and sentences, as well as whole documents. This is the GloVe model developed at Stanford, fastText developed by Facebook, and doc2vec, a model that displays a whole document in a numerical vector. In recent years, embeddings are obtained using very complex models of deep learning in order to preserve ever more subtle natural language relations in the properties of vectors. The results are so impressive that experts have noted the emergence of models such as ELMo and BERT as a new era of embeddings. ( Jay Alammar, The Illustrated BERT, ELMo , and co. (How NLP Cracked Transfer Learning).
Understanding the complexity of models of this level, I’d like to describe how embeddings in the popular model BERT, developed by Google AI Language in 2018, are built today.
It is based on the neuroarchitecture called Transformer that has an attention mechanism that learns contextual relations between words (or sub-words) in a text. Each word is encoded with a unique token and the sequence of words is led to the so-called recurrent neural network to predict some numerical multidimensional vector – embedding. In BERT, the Transformer architecture is not fully used: only the input network, called an encoder.
Before feeding word sequences in BERT, 15% of the words in each sequence are replaced with a [MASK] token. The model then attempts to predict the original value of the masked words based on the context provided by other, non-masked, words in the sequence. From a technical point of view, the prediction of the output words requires:
- Adding a classification layer on top of the encoder output
- Multiplying the output vectors by the embedding matrix, transforming them in the vocabulary dimens
- Calculating the probability of each word in the vocabulary using softmax – the function that normalizes the activation values of the output layer of the neural network
BERT can predict not only words, but also the whole sentences. In the process of training, the BERT model receives pairs of sentences as input and learns to predict whether the second sentence in a pair is the subsequent sentence in the original document. During training, 50% of the inputs are a pair in which the second sentence is the subsequent sentence in the original document, while in the remaining 50% a random sentence from the corpus is selected as the second sentence. It is assumed that the random sentence will be disconnected from the first sentence.
BERT can be used for a wide variety of language tasks, adding only a small additional layer of neurons to the core model.
- Classification tasks such as sentiment analysis are performed similarly to the Next Sentence classification, adding a classification layer on top of the Transformer output for the [CLS] token.
- In Question Answering tasks, the software receives a question regarding a text sequence and should mark the answer in the sequence. Using BERT, a Q&A model can be trained by learning two additional vectors that mark the beginning and the end of the answer.
- In Named Entity Recognition (NER), the model receives a text sequence and is required to mark the various types of entities (Person, Organization, Date, etc.) that appear in the text. Using BERT, the NER model can be trained by feeding the output vector of each token into the classification layer that predicts the NER label – geographical name, name, company name, etc.
The results of implementing BERT embeddings are impressive. In addition to the usual assessments of the tone of the text – positive and negative statements, the computer began to determine the presence of sarcasm in the text as well as detect lies and fear. These are the deep features of human psychology that can be turned into algebraic relations of embeddings.
Embeddings have opened up the possibility of simultaneously operating in different natural languages. After all, if we construct the space of sentences and words embeddings in English and Russian, then the same embeddings should correspond to the same semantic concepts. Such a combination should be carried out in the process of teaching a neurotranslator. Then the translation of the new text from English will be reduced to its embedding and decoding in the words of the Russian language, which you need to translate. There are known search engines that accept a request in one language and search for information in any language using a reverse index based on embeddings.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is open to a mass of tasks, not only to understand what is said by a person and to choose in advance declared possible solutions based on them, but also to build solutions. The achievement of such goals in AI systems is carried out using architectures with many neural networks, genetic algorithms, trees of choice, and others. All of them, as a rule, work efficiently if data is represented as numerical vectors. This means that all data for artificial intelligence should be represented as embeddings. The experience of word embedding in NLU that we have just described allows assuming that homomorphic transformations should be performed with other entities that AI operates with, keeping in mind basic relations that exist objectively in the set of entities used. Recently, several papers have appeared on embeddings of entities different from linguistic studies. However, one can doubt here if the both artificial intelligence and natural intelligence need to know some entities, other than those expressed by means of a language, either natural or artificial, but perceived by a man. In the end, the relations between entities are described by means of a language, thus, they can be treated equally along with the relations of words, sentences, and texts. It suggests that the embedding path for any entities that AI must operate with is promising and correct.
Let’s have a look at a number of examples. The social platform Pinterest has created and uses 128-dimensional embeddings for entities called Pin-pages or images from the Internet and entities of Pinner users. A method similar to word2vec, the so-called Pin2Vec, was developed and used to reflect the context of each user's and each Pin's relation.
The author of this article conducted research on the use of embeddings to represent the legal space – articles of the criminal code, civil code, labor code, court decisions together with the presentation of narratives (narrative texts) describing some facts. Already today, we have managed to build a high quality AI that can replace the court system for qualifying case materials at the stage of drafting a court decision: which normative acts are violated in describing the facts presented by the narrative. You will find an interactive acquaintance with the world of three-dimensional space with points corresponding to both normative acts and random textual narratives. If the link for any reason is inoperable, then have a look at the following image.
The number of publications on the use of embeddings in the development of AI systems is increasing. In general, it is already possible to say that a fairly universal approach can be the construction of a textual description of any state of the world that AI sees and the further construction of a vector numerical image for this text, embedding in the usual sense. This approach is based on the idea that AI must “think” in words, in a language form. Another idea is based on the assumption that the states of the world can be transformed into embeddings bypassing a verbal description, for example, images or audio recordings can be immediately transformed into multidimensional vectors. If you train a model for such embedding in conjunction with texts, AI will be able to operate both with homogeneous data and pictures, and with words and sounds. Recently, Dan Gillick at Google, in his lecture at Berkeley, proposed building AIs to search for information by placing all different objects/entities, regardless of whether they are composed of text, images, video, or audio in the same vector space. Based on this principle, AI will be able to answer questions asked in various languages, illustrations and sound recordings, in writing or orally. What dimensions of embeddings will be required for such universal descriptions and whether the structure and capacity of the multidimensional vector space is sufficient to keep all the necessary complexity and diversity of the world in which AI should work is a matter of current and future research.Show More Show less
Apr 2 2019Press release
Artezio to Discuss Healthcare Digital Transformation with Experts in BerlinDMEA is a new name for conhIT, an event that over 11 years of its existence has grown significantly and begun to cover new areas in medicine. Thus, conhIT transformed into DMEA to further meet expectations of the healthcare industry. The event organizers are confident that the main goal of the brand renewal is to present the whole chain of processes that occur in healthcare.
Traditionally, DMEA guests are invited to attend special events, an exhibition and lecture sections that help reveal important topics and problems in healthcare. This year, among the topical issues at the exhibition are artificial intelligence and blockchain. Artezio has extensive experience in developing healthcare projects, and it will present its own expertise to DMEA attendees within the scheduled meetings.
If you would like to hold a business meeting with Artezio representatives at DMEA, please send a request to Anastassia.Panshyna@artezio.comShow More Show less
Apr 1 2019Press release
Artezio Among Top 20 Best Software Development CompaniesThe authors of the research noted that the Top 100 list is based on a study of company profiles that are registered in the US International Trade Administration. Today, over 100,000 IT firms are recorded in this registry. It doesn’t include software companies that deal exclusively with large corporate projects. The study focuses on the requirements of small and medium businesses. The authors compiled a list of the most reliable small and medium-sized suppliers. The companies were ranked according to six criteria: software development expertise, market presence, geographic strategy, industry experience, customer experience, and portfolio versatility.
Artezio ranked among the top 20 best companies. The overall score based on 6 criteria was 9.51 points.
Artezio has been on the international market for over 19 years and has implemented more than 1000 custom software development projects in many industries, including finance, logistics, healthcare, retail, media, and so on. Artezio's customers include brands like Sencha, Microsoft, Raiffeisen Bank, Siemens, and Pepsico.Show More Show less
Mar 31 2019Press release
Artezio to Share its Blockchain and Machine Learning Expertise at BioITBioIT has been held in the US since 2002 and plays an important role in increasing a technological level of the healthcare development in the USA. BioIT is an event that gathers experts from various science and business fields allowing them to share ideas and create unique projects. Representatives of leading pharmaceutical, healthcare and technology companies are among speakers at the conference.
Artezio closely monitors technology trends in healthcare and takes part in all major events that are devoted to this field. In particular, the company already met with experts and business representatives at BioIT in January this year. New meetings with BioIT attendees in Boston will allow Artezio to present its latest experience in the use of blockchain and ML technologies in various fields, including healthcare, to colleagues and private companies.
“The BioIT conference is an opportunity to share Artezio's key expertise in developing effective solutions for medical companies in the United States. Offering the latest technologies, we aim to encourage not only the technological development of the US healthcare sector, but also improve customer service and quality in medical clinics,” says Dmitry Rodionov, the Head of Artezio office in the US.
Artezio’s experts highly evaluate the potential of process automation developments in healthcare based on blockchain and ML. The company has expertise in this area and conducts its own research in the field of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies.Show More Show less
Mar 26 2019Article
Speech Recognition: Prospects for UseAccording to MarketsandMarkets Research, at the beginning of 2019, the speech recognition market was estimated at $7.5 billion. It is believed that in 5 years, this amount will increase by another 19% to $ 21.5 billion in 2024. It is apparent that speech recognition technologies are among the most valued and sought after.
Development of voice recognition technologies
Speech recognition is not a new technology. The first speech recognition device appeared in 1952. In 1963, Septrons, the devices that could perform voice commands, were introduced in the United States. They were successfully used in the defense industry, allowing pilots of combat helicopters to use voice control. In mass markets and in large commercial projects, voice solutions became popular after the appearance of smartphones and the spread of voice interfaces with voice support in mobile phones, IoT devices, fitness gadgets, and car devices.
Then, banks and large enterprises became interested in speech recognition. For example, financial institutions are still considering the possibility of authenticating customers by voice. Perhaps in the future, to sign a payment document or approve a transaction, you’ll simply just have to call the bank and talk with the automated system. Developers minimized voice recognition errors by up to 2%, a record number ensuring high reliability.
Voice technologies are applied not only in banks, but also in other business processes. For example, in client services for the sale of goods or services and technical support. There, voice recognition technology helps to simplify the performance of various operations. For example, online customers may spell their credit card information to the system to make a purchase. The recognition accuracy of a single digit is 99.1%, the accuracy of the text information recognition on a card is 93.3%.
A similar voice recognition technology is also used for call centers. With its help, it is possible to ensure recognition of a user's request, routing to the necessary employee, and performing simple actions through the voice menu.
Today, voice systems do a good job with deciphering distinct speech during such tasks as generating television subtitles or translating voice to text for messaging. At the same time, the recognition systems are still not ready for simple hearing tests.
In the near future, speech recognition could be an important technology in conjunction with actively developing global satellite Internet projects. In conditions of a limited communication channel, people could make voice calls in the form of a text, which would then turn back to a voice on the receiving side.
From the point of view of machine learning, speech recognition consists of many stages. First of all, noise and interference must be removed from the original audio stream. In the cleared speech recording, phonemes are distinguished – perceptually distinct units in a language, which then can be assembled more or less clearly into the text of words, phrases, and sentences. For greater accuracy, other data sources are used, such as the image of the speaker’s face, or other voice recordings with known transcripts.
Recognizing the meaning of what is said is a separate big task. For this reason, the role of voice assistants is still limited to simple commands. Understanding the meaning has a much greater complexity and is currently implemented only in individual components, such as an object, emotion, or tonality.
The reverse process, speech synthesis, thanks to machine learning, allows you to quickly and efficiently generate speech using specified samples of real people’s voices. Already today there are startups that allow substituting voices for dubbing texts with voices of historical personalities.
As for the language support, English and Chinese dominate speech recognition technologies. This is due to the volume of investments in the speech recognition technology from Chinese companies and the US. However, there are free solutions, voice engines, which allow other companies to be included in the technology race. Mozilla DeepSpeech and, a completely open source solution, Kaldi are among the open solutions.
However, in order to add support for a language other than English or Chinese to free solutions, you need about 10 thousand hours of speech for training. And it should be marked data and the recording of various dialogues – only then acoustic language models can be well-trained.
Difficulties in the development process
There are many speech recognition services today and most of them are focused on English speech recognition. The main problem is the lack of additional mechanisms for the interpretation of recognition, which is why such systems provide several options, one of which may be correct, but it may not be the most probable one offered by these services.
As a result, people are uncomfortable using these technologies since they have to speak unnaturally and slowly. If the program can’t recognize what has been said, then the text need to be repeated again and again, which can be annoying. A person gets the feeling the technology is flawed; this negative effect could influence the success implementation factor if people refuse to communicate with the robot. Moreover, for those tasks where it could be applied, often, the alternative is low-skilled human work, where the cost of work may not be so high that it would be beneficial to apply.
Developers today lack user experience on how to properly build a dialogue between a person and a machine. For example, an interesting pattern can be noted – adults conduct a dialogue with the robot as with, to put it mildly, a silly person. In response to questions, they make a lot of explanations, start speaking slowly, hence there are various problems in building a dialogue, although they behave in the usual way with live operators having the same dialogue. In this case, children behave as naturally as possible, and they do not have problems in communication.
Speech recognition technologies are actively developing. Tasks that were previously considered impracticable have already been solved. For example, the voice recognition technology with simultaneous conversation has already been implemented; smooth speech synthesis is applied, suitable for the level of human speech. Experts believe that in the next three years, significant technological growth associated with speech recognition will be observed. As a result, there will be many solutions with voice technologies in the field of business automation.
Speech recognition, voice biometrics and voice control have become reliable tools, thanks to the development of the technologies. For most tasks, speech recognition copes with its work. Difficulties remain with the recognition of telephone conversations or the separation of mono-recordings in stereo, but there is progress in this direction as well.
Today’s popular voice assistants are unlikely to become so massive, as it was thought a year ago, but the task of processing people’s call recordings remains relevant and will gain value in the service economy.Show More Show less
Mar 21 2019Press release
Artezio Joins Two New Business Platforms in the USArtezio actively works on building more relationships with the US business and technology communities. The New Jersey office has recently expanded its cooperation with local professional organizations having joined the tech council of New Jersey and Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Dmitry Rodionov, Country Manager Artezio USA: “We would like to become active members of the business and tech communities in the US to be able to share experiences, exchange information, take part in educational initiatives and finally establish trade relations with other members of the local market.”
“Our goal is to support the growth of US technology companies by applying our 19 years of expertise in the technology and custom software space. Partnership with industry-specific associations and technology hubs allows us to be directly involved in such initiative. We are sincerely happy to be a part of the technology council of New Jersey as well as PRCC and are grateful for the huge support from these organizations.”
Today Artezio USA is an official R&D partner to such incumbents as Microsoft, Amazon and SalesForce, as well as to various ISV’s in the mid-market space.
“We are open to cooperation with all industry-specific companies that are interested in applying the latest technologies,” added Pavel Adylin, Artezio Founder and CEO.Show More Show less
Mar 18 2019Article
Blockchain in the Financial Sector: Today and TomorrowBlockchain in the Financial Sector of Today
What is blockchain? It is a distributed database that contains information about transactions carried out by system participants. Its main feature is the exclusion of the human factor which ensures a high level of trust. Today retail and investment banks, brokerage firms, and payment networks actively use this technology. Payment transactions now can be automated, which means intermediaries can be excluded while any system participant verifies the authenticity of a transaction. Additionally, blockchain could help in securities management, and it could be used in the development of payment systems using digital currencies, which would greatly simplify the interaction between central banks.
The main opportunities blockchain opens up in the financial sector are reducing bureaucratic costs, minimizing corruption, increasing security of operations through complex mathematical algorithms and special cryptographic programs, and eliminating unnecessary or redundant operations.
Blockchain is based on the principle "promised — fulfilled” and a violation of this principle is impossible. Due to the fact that the entered data cannot be changed, blockchain becomes an effective financial tool. Additional benefit from implementing blockchain solutions is trust in the information and reliability of its storage, which is especially valuable in the financial sector. Blockchain for financial market participants is not only a path to new niches, but also a step towards new market relations based on the transparency and impossibility of cheating. Even if certain blockchain developments do not replace all their standard counterparts, they still provide an overall opportunity for improvement in this sector.
International payments are still the main and most widely recognized implementation of blockchain in the financial sector. Such technology allows payments to be made in seconds, with minimal costs. Unlike plastic debit cards and SWIFT transfers, blockchain services automate currency control procedures and search for the most profitable transaction route. Over 200 companies are already connected to the payment ecosystem Ripple, among them banks and even the international money transfer service Western Union. The speed of settlements in turn accelerates international trade and makes financial transactions available to ordinary citizens. And for a number of large companies and entire countries, blockchain payments allow the opening of additional business channels.
In fact, the reason why blockchain is still very popular, but not the most used technology, is quite simple. There is the possibility that it is a technology fad that will fade in fintech, similar to what happened with WiMax. The wireless data transmission technology did not become widespread, and LTE replaced it.
Blockchain also has a successor—Tangle, a faster technology that is designed based on the widespread use of the Internet of Things. It is possible that blockchain in its current technological form will not become widespread in the financial sector, and other solutions will be applied for safe data storage.
Blockchain in the Financial Sector of Tomorrow
In the coming years, the spread of blockchain technology will most likely be relevant in the field of financial systems and insurance. Experts believe that the first thing to do is to implement blockchain in all publicly verifiable transactions, contracts, registries and decision-making systems, secondarily, in multilateral operations. At the same time, the introduction of blockchain in projects where control is required for unstructured, unparsed information is not justified.
For example, banks invest too many resources in support of processes that aren’t directly linked to profits, so fintech is focused on finding new tools to influence fundamental indicators. Blockchain could become a cheap solution for banks.
If we talk about the disadvantages associated with this technology, it is necessary to highlight the market demand for experts in this field as well as a small number of completed business cases. Financial institutions are very cautious about the introduction of blockchain projects. For fintech, the risks associated with deficiencies in consensus algorithms and incorrectly written code of smart contracts could be quite expensive. During a bank transfer it is possible to dispute the transaction, but for the time being, it is not clear how to implement such a process in blockchain.
It is worth mentioning the data protection issues as well. Blockchain has been around for about 10 years, and data protection is one of the most pressing issues in this area. Entrusting finance to algorithms, financial organizations want to make sure that they are reliably protected from various types of attacks such as capturing decentralized nodes or selecting a cryptographic key.
Security and standardization issues are other problems hindering the implementation of blockchain in finance. Today, many countries have almost no regulatory legislation that would allow blockchain to be widely used in banks, when dealing with securities or registering transactions. Therefore, the future of blockchain in finance largely depends on legislators and regulators.Show More Show less
Mar 11 2019Article
When Will the Internet of Things Become the Internet of Anything?From IoT to IoA
For technologies to be in demand by businesses, they must have a significant impact on the economy. An effective competitive strategy is to reduce costs by automating business processes. Two years ago, it was expected that there would be a revolutionary breakthrough in the area of IoT. Today, IoT is mainly used to automate logistics and track production processes. With the development of NB-IoT, new mobile sensors and devices are likely to appear, which will not be as dependent on network settings as they are now.
Those who believe that a technical revolution should take place in IoT are both right and wrong at the same time. The Internet of Things itself is a logical step in the evolution of information and communication technologies, a continuation of the logic of the automated process control system and M2M, but at a qualitatively different level. The principle of “internetization” of interaction, transferred from the regular Internet to “things” or devices, has opened up new companies, new business processes, and new business models to the world. Using the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence systems, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality in solutions and products – this is the daily technical revolution. Moreover, we often no longer notice how commonplace “connected” or “smart” things have become in the last couple of years. Barriers in yards are now opened not by duty assistants, but via a phone call. Payment information can be accessed in a few strokes on a smartphone. The temperature of a room can be changed remotely via an app. Such examples are endless. This means that the next “revolutionary” change - the transition to the “Internet of Anything,” IoA, could easily be overlooked in the future.
In developed countries, the IoT technology is no longer an innovation, moving from the innovative to everyday solutions. The most advanced developments are concentrated primarily in the industries where IoT and algorithmization can bring the effect of instant savings and fast monetization, and the industry itself is large in size. For example, agriculture or transport and logistics are full of innovations that affect ordinary people. At the same time, today there is already a question not about the creation of innovation, but its implementation on a large scale. Much of what is needed for the widespread change of established operations and actions is already there, but these technologies need to be integrated and implemented.
Evolution of LoRaWAN
The Internet of Things has evolved from the technology of the automated enterprise management system that has existed since the last century. Such costly automated enterprise management systems are currently available only to large corporations. The evolution in the design of sensors and actuators, the emergence of new communication standards and communication channels, machine-to-machine interaction, the emergence of software for connecting this infrastructure to existing systems, and other technologies, all have enriched automated enterprise management systems and made automation accessible to a large number of enterprises.
IoT is now developing, although not as fast as previously expected. Innovations occur regularly, but they are often subtle. One of the most significant breakthroughs is the distribution of LoRaWAN data transfer protocol among IoT devices. Low power consumption of LoRaWAN devices and a large communication range allow sensors and equipment to be installed in places where wires cannot be laid. For example, the infrastructure of IoT devices could be deployed even in a forest — say, for warning of forest fires.
The development of LoRaWAN networks with low power consumption of end user devices will allow IoT to become a truly Internet of Things. The presence of a publicly accessible “transmission medium” opens up the possibility for integrators and solution providers to focus directly on the hardware level (field level) and application level. As a result, the number of IoT devices themselves and the volume of processed data - archived and current - would significantly increase. Then, application of cloud computing resources, Big Data, machine learning, and neural networks at the application and services level will become more common.
The following were mentioned in the Forrester Reseach study ( published report) “10 IoT predictions for 2018” and are noteworthy. Among other things, the use of voice control systems in IoT services will increase; developers of IoT platforms, as well as those who provide services to them, will go further towards industrial or functional specialization; Blockchain technologies will be increasingly used in IoT products, and—the most troubling—cyber attacks through various “connected” devices will be among the most common and destructive.
What’s next: success or failure?
According to Software AG, about 50% of projects related to IoT fail because developers are more interested in releasing new solutions to the market that they simply do not assess possible risk factors.
Now the situation has begun to change. More and more technologies have been developed to interact with IoT. These are, above all, cryptocurrency projects. In the near future, they are expected to grow in number, and in five years, the automation of various business processes will be able to be discussed. According to expert Theo Hildjard, three stages will be completed in implementing the Internet of Things. During the first stage, individual projects that have not reached their optimum will be improved. At the second stage, the integration of all processes will be planned, in other words - digital optimization. Only at the last stage will it be possible to fully implement all the developments, create new “Internet things,” and expand the market.
We can assume that the revolution in IoT is actually taking place, it is just happening in the area of business solutions. In the consumer solutions market, IoT has hardly been developed. But within the framework of the industrial Internet of Things, the range of requests is much more diverse. The probability is high that automation in production will turn IoT into IoA.Show More Show less
Feb 27 2019Article
3 Tips for Digital Transformation in HealthcareToday’s buzzword: Data. For healthcare and life sciences, in particular, data is essential. How it’s interpreted, managed, and made use of, will bring opportunities for healthcare providers and in some instances, the opportunity of new treatment.
With that, every day there are new trends, data transmission formats, standards, regulations, and solutions for distributed databases. Healthcare faces the ongoing challenge of how to make sense of data and how to handle issues of its secure storage, processing, and exchange. With that, the question still remains, “is the risk worth the reward when using third-party solutions”?
As a custom software development company, Artezio is vendor neutral. We’ve dealt with clients who preferred to use third-party solutions, as well as those who have made a choice to build the whole system from scratch. One thing is certain for both, in order to make this decision, you need to take into account all critical aspects. Let’s look at a few examples of using third-party solutions/providers and see how they worked out.
1. TrueVault – a simple solution that allows you to become HIPAA / GDPR compliant without overhauling your entire application and migrating your infrastructure. Sounds great, right?
Especially if most of the work you need to do is on the application side, and healthcare data repository is just a part of your solution. We’ve had examples like that. One of our clients built a web application that provides a user-friendly interface for health practitioners, doctors, and caregivers. Giving them the ability to create, as well as manage medical landing pages in strict compliance with e-health standards. The app has a site wizard to design and build landing pages. It also includes a dashboard to track and manage the page's performance. Being a client/patient facing web application, it deals with a lot of PHI, which is distributed between different users. In essence, it is a React JS application built over HIPAA compliant storage, represented by TrueVault.
In another case, we used TrueVault to solve a different issue. Imagine a doctor who needs to request tests for patients on a daily basis. Some are standard, others are specialized. How frustrating can that be to make thousands of requests in various systems? How complicated can this process become due to all the required paperwork and missing pieces? What if the tests you need are in small laboratories who are not present in your EHR? Suddenly, a simple routine task becomes an overwhelming dragging torture. We were able to simplify this process for both the lab service providers and the doctors by creating an uber-like multi-tenant portal with a simple interface. The labs and lab services providers subscribe to the portal to have their services featured. Clinicians can make a request to have a set of tests done and get the results to share with their clients/patients using one single platform. The lab requests are automatically routed to participant laboratories in accordance with HL7 data transfer principles. The environment of this solution is HIPAA and GDPR compliant. It was easy to set it this way with TrueVault.
What’s in TrueVault for you?
Consider using it if you need to get a secure database for your solutions quickly. Another case would be if you have a legacy system and the task of migrating infrastructure is not suitable for your situation.
TrueVault has a plugin API which is well documented and supported. It’s pretty simple, even if your tech knowledge is limited. They also have a very educating blog with valuable tips on GDPR and HIPAA compliance. All you need is to get good UX/UI designers and developers to build your app and you’re all set.
2. Think!EHR Platform – Is a big data solution based on the latest release of OpenEHR specifications. It is designed to store, manage, query, retrieve, and exchange structured electronic health record data. All data is stored in vendor-independent archetypes and templates.
OpenEHR is a standard that describes the management and storage, retrieval, and exchange of electronic health records. It’s also a virtual community working on means of turning healthcare data from the physical form into electronic form as well as ensuring universal interoperability among all forms of electronic data.
One of our large clients needed to create an enterprise scale comprehensive EHR. The system included medical appointments scheduling capabilities and BI dashboard. The main task was to aggregate electronic information and records across healthcare system of a large city following interoperability and safety standards, automate processes, and provide efficient analytics to allow making information-based decisions.
The challenge here was in the complexity of the task and the organizational structure. Every organizational level has its own rules and follows its own procedures. It took a while to really dig into the OpenEHR solutions and capabilities they provide. We chose Think!EHR and it helped us to streamline the project and get the client going with the MVP to test it at one of the organizations in a matter of a few months. Then based on the feedback collected and the roadmap, we’ve created a modular solution covering all processes and aspects across all levels of the healthcare system. The modules include EMR and electronic documents workflow, patients record management, medical institutions and doctors information, the online appointment for patients, and complex scheduling based on the doctors’ workload.
What’s in Think!EHR Platform for you?
Consider using it if you need an enterprise scale solution and have developers to help you. It’s a complex tool so you need someone who has mastered it.
Use it if your primary focus is on electronic health records (EHR) and related systems. The platform has an array of interfaces including REST, SMART, HL7, FHIR, and IHE.XDS. One of the benefits is in the integration of external terminologies like ICD, LOINC, and SNOMED-CT.
Another advantage is the OpenEHR community where you can find a lot of answers and help. Even though it’s a complicated solution it provides unmatched capabilities for you to automate all processes. So you will need to be looking for an experienced developer to help you with that. First of all, they need to understand the principles of OpenEHR. Secondly, it’s very likely you will need someone who can customize and tailor the solution specifically to your needs.
3. SpiritARCHIVE (PACS) by Tiani is a software solution for handling, storing, printing and transmitting of medical imaging and pictures (DICOM – Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine).
So, speaking about various data formats to deal with (documents, papers, images, test results, etc.). While it’s more or less clear with text, what do we do with pictures, scans, MRIs, CTs? We solved this task for one of our clients and SpiritARCHIVE helped us do it effectively. We built a HIS platform for unified patient records and documents workflow management. The client needed to obtain results from digital radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, computer tomography, and sonography, and get them matched as well as attached to their patient records.
Patients’ data is stored in a highly standardized and protected environment and includes DICOM images, 2D/3D objects, PDFs, JPEGs, video files (MP4, MPEG, AVI), CDA files, and other data formats. The system unifies different formats and presents them to the users on a single interface in accordance with IHE standard. It allows doctors the ability to quickly retrieve and modify patients’ records and documents. SpiritARCHIVE, in this case, enables integration of medical imaging devices – modalities, scanners, servers, workstations, printers, network hardware, picture archiving, and Communication Systems (PACS) from multiple manufacturers.
What’s in SpiritARCHIVE for you?
Consider using it if you need to store, handle, print, and transmit medical imaging (including digital images, results of digital radiography, CT, MRI, and sonography). This solution observes strict adherence to IHE criteria and it’s also compatible with systems of different manufacturers (modalities, scanners, servers, workstations, printers, and network hardware). Use it if you work with 2D and 3D objects or video files.
That’s just a couple of examples. Think about it, how often do you find yourself torn between the latest technology and the regulations in healthcare? Knowing the standards or just the technology is no longer enough anymore, is it?
Getting a consultant or a company to help you sort everything out is often viable. If you do think about it, pick someone who has already done this with different solutions. Someone who is fluent in the latest technology and familiar with the healthcare standards. Someone who can offer effective solution taking into account all these rules you have to follow and the results you would like to achieve.
We could be your guys for that. Drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org, let’s talk.Show More Show less
Feb 18 2019Article
A Robot Lawyer and Robot President: Considering a World Run by AI and Big DataRobots or Programs?
The concepts of robotics and artificial intelligence are often mixed in technology development forecasts. People imagine that robots will replace lawyers, clerks, and even high-ranking officials. But robots are often considered to be mechanisms allowing people to automate a particular process, while artificial intelligence is able to make major decisions. Thus, Big Data processing technology and machine learning are at the heart of the progress that will free humans from routine.
A key factor in automating professional functions would be the use of Big Data, based on which AI would make decisions. Law is one of the priority areas for the introduction of AI. Working with Big Data already allows an idea of the potential development within the legal sphere. For example, the software used for automated analysis of a large number of specific judicial precedents and world court practices could help in the prediction of a court decision for single cases. On the other hand, the analysis of a large amount of socio-economic data could allow the prediction of emergence of controversial situations or the need for new regulators.
Online justice and, in general, “digitization” of the legal practice would significantly save lawyers time and ensure the involvement of the most competent and unique specialists in the industry. With new automation tools, people's work would be limited only to responding to online monitoring results and AI tips. Talking about the development of AI automation systems, experts predict the further wide distribution of solutions based on the analysis of Big Data which would be able to give people clear instructions for actions in certain situations (low-quality products in stores, accidents, conclusion of contracts, and much more).
However, AI would not be able to completely replace lawyers. Rather, automation of routine functions and processes related to office work and the implementation of simple, single-variant actions would most likely occur. Today there are many automated systems for the preparation of contracts, dispute protocols, and other documents. More informatization allows going further and creating an automatic system for drafting court decisions.
As a result, lawyers would serve more as consultants - they would help choose the most convenient variants of behavior. But the legally significant decision itself would be prepared by a smart system based on the principles of a neural network. A lawyer would only agree or correct the draft of a legally relevant document.
Is absolutely honest digital justice possible? If we imagine that a judge impartially considers two similar (at first glance) cases, for example, theft, when a person stole food to save his children from starvation, and when a thief stole a pension - the last savings from a single elderly woman. What decision would AI make? It would probably bring the accused to around the same level of justice. After all, they would both be considered thieves from a legal perspective. It is unlikely that the program would be able to understand the difference between two different ethical situations and take into account additional factors. Of course, AI could be an impartial judge because a developer sets the program algorithm as such. It is enough to include an indulgence adjustment in the program code, for example, to representatives of authorities or to take into account certain patterns of human behavior. But the problem is not how well AI can handle court cases, but in the credibility of the people writing the code.
If the judiciary is in the area of responsibility of the state artificial intelligence, then the state would bear responsibility for all wrong decisions. And if there are living judges for whom artificial intelligence is only a consultant offering alternatives and a controller at the same time, then an individual person would be responsible.
AI as a Consultant
It is still difficult to entrust AI with the judge’s mantle, but it already does make an excellent adviser on key issues of jurisprudence. Artificial intelligence can use ready-made samples developed by humans, or be guided by certain criteria that serve as conditions for decision-making. For example, a person who got into an accident could address a lawyer for consultation. Another example – a simple dissolution of a marriage without sharing property and issues with children. A woman or man only needs to know what has to be done in order to dissolve the marriage and what actions to be taken.
This option is real and has already been implemented in most mobile devices. Ask a question to the voice assistant in a smartphone, and it will offer you answers based on online results. This is a counseling system based on the capabilities of artificial intelligence. Based on the same principle, a robot lawyer could also be created.
In the age of robotics and smart technologies, AI could replace the many functions of a lawyer. But this applies only to repetitive and routine tasks, such as court claims by Sberbank of Russia, which, by the way, plans to cut about 3,000 lawyers. In the case of non-typical, non-standard situations, the program would not be able to replace a human lawyer who has not only legal knowledge, but also a creative mindset and code of ethics.
A Robot President
To hand over the reins of state power to artificial intelligence is both an interesting, and dangerous idea. The main state position involves not only responsibility, but also a certain flexibility of thinking - the ability to work in unusual situations. Today, AI is not able to effectively solve global economic problems and manage people. Experts believe that the president is the face of the state, and it must be human. The issues of trust to a program remain. What if the AI president starts a war? The scenario from the science-fiction movies “Terminator” or “Matrix” may become real.
Blockchain and artificial intelligence are undoubtedly breakthrough technologies. At the same time, quantum computations are developing very rapidly. If scientists succeed in combining all these achievements together in the future, then we would receive unique software solutions that could solve many complex tasks.Show More Show less
Feb 13 2019Press release
Artezio Pixel King Gets Valentine’s Day Themed UpdateThis is already the third themed addition to Pixel King – a coloring by numbers app with the role-playing elements.
The previous update became available at Halloween. The app developed by Artezio is available for iOS devices and can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
The game received positive users’ feedback who appreciated the content quality and the possibility of the gradual development of the game character.
“ Themed updates for Pixel King have already become a good tradition. We strive to support the community and open access to new content for users,” said Dmitry Parshin, the Head of Artezio Development Center.
Pixel King is a new game in the genre of coloring by numbers that encourages players by gradually opening up interesting content and tools. Users can enjoy free content as well as special drawings and tools that are available by subscription. They allow speeding up playing through the game and character development.
Pixel King not only motivates children and adults to be creative, but is also a social platform for supporting gifted people. Developers collaborate with children who dream of making their work open to the world, and they add their pictures to the Pixel King library.Show More Show less
Feb 5 2019Article
How to Use Blockchain to Automate Business ProcessesBlockchain isn’t just used for cryptocurrency.
Blockchain is quite a new technology for business. Most often, its application is associated with the cryptocurrency market. However, blockchain technology is also suitable for traditional business. Classic databases are based on the Create-Read-Update-Delete (CRUD) process and imply that a user with administrative rights can change data at any time. Blockchain technology implies the opposite principle - data that enters the chain cannot be changed or edited. Moreover, this data is distributed and decentralized. Recently, this technology that began with the “digital gold” of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been applied in other aspects of accounting and data storage. Leading car manufacturers such as General Motors, Renault, BMW, Ford created a joint blockchain consortium MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative) to automate the process of supplying components, accounting for cash flow, and logistics management.
Blockchain can be used in almost any sphere of production and service. The only question is where this technology will be most effective and necessary.
Healthcare and smart contracts
Blockchain technologies are universal and can be used almost anywhere where it makes sense. Blockchain is already being introduced in diamond industry, which allows distributors to quickly and clearly identify the origin of minerals. There are also many examples of implementation in the service sector. For example, the use of blockchain in the logistics for delivering goods allows visibility into the entire history of a transport chain. This ensures maximum transparency of the delivery process, increasing the processing speed through smart contracts, and improving quality control.
One of the most promising areas for blockchain implementation is healthcare.
Blockchain in healthcare would allow several processes to be improved at once. For example, it would save clinics from long lines at the registrar’s office. Currently, medical history is recorded by doctors in patients’ personal records. The introduction of blockchain would allow the storage of digitized information, which means it would be easier and faster to find, and patient data would not be lost. In addition, the automatic record of the results of all tests and previous examinations would allow the most accurate diagnoses, reducing medical errors to a minimum.
Blockchain is also easy to use in production. For example, in the production of milk, it would be possible to see not only the basic parameters of the product and its composition, but also under what conditions it was produced, how and when it was transported, and other data. But most importantly, this information would not only be easy to access, but also reliable.
It is worth mentioning smart contracts which were first implemented in 2013 in the Ethereum network. A key feature of this type of cryptographic contract is the absence of a third party controlling the contract execution. For example, when renting a room, payment should arrive from the 10th to the 15th day of each month - if payment does not arrive or does not arrive in due amount - access to the room is automatically blocked. This principle could be applied to mortgages and credit cars as well. Theoretically, all contractual relations could be transferred to smart contracts. In trade, this could apply to purchases on the internet - until you get the goods in your hands and approve it, the seller does not receive payment. This could also be beneficial to international deliveries where payments and delivery terms need to clearly be controlled. In law, most disputes would be able to be resolved without participation of courts and notaries.
Industry and Agriculture
The introduction of blockchain technologies would create new conditions for the development of entire sectors of the economy. It would help manufacturers validate the product and keep track of all participants in the supply chain, since data would be impossible to replace. Blockchain introduction in the agricultural sector would minimize the number of intermediaries, which now account for most of the operating profit. The new technology could provide market transparency, since it would be possible to track each delivery of products, for example, a batch of low-quality meat and so on.
Blockchain is suitable for any business process in which many counterparties are involved, where each of them could somehow affect the entire chain. A simple example - documents confirming legal aspects with several signatories. It is important to understand here that each has put his/her signature according to the law and that nothing should been corrected or removed afterwards. This signature confirms the signing of the document before the final approval. Blockchain helps ensure the transparency of transactions or actions within the system. For business, these are huge opportunities.
Blockchain is not just another innovative paradigm that could be embedded in existing economic models. This is a paradigm shift, a transition to fundamentally different algorithms for building a global market. Today, such countries as the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, China, Estonia and Belarus are at the forefront of this trend. Estonia, for example, plans to transfer all state databases to the blockchain platform, as well as to issue licenses for crypto exchange operations, thus creating conditions for registering crypto exchange. They, in turn, would bring new financial flows, both investment and tax, into the country.
Despite many opportunities, blockchain brings serious risks that could lead to significant financial and reputational losses for businesses.
As already mentioned, blockchain technology is quite suitable for automating commercial processes. It allows tracking of all financial consumables of a company, actions with assets and liabilities—it actually reduces the company's “black” bookkeeping to zero, if it exists. However, it is not possible to fully automate commercial processes, since all company financial decisions are made by a person, even if based on the results obtained using digital analytics.
It is necessary to take into account the fact that when introducing automated systems based on blockchain technologies for commercial processes, the company exposes itself to additional risks. If the system is hacked, attackers will receive all information about the company's activities.
Also, the issue of storing large volumes of data that blockchain assumes in organizations, has not yet been resolved.
In addition, blockchain contradicts the laws of personal data, which require not only to store information, but also, to remove it from the chain at the request of the owner. And in this case, the main advantage of the blockchain is the reliability of data storage, and it also becomes the main drawback. Developers of the European regulations on personal data (GDPR) already believe the use of blockchain in individual projects related to the collection and storage of personal data could be the main reason for future trials and serious fines.
Businesses will decide with regard to its financial capabilities, risks and benefits which data storage to use. It is clear that this new technology allows problems in the field of reliable data storage to be solved and the automation of some processes. Blockchain technologies attract attention, first of all, by their versatility. They are actively used in the banking and financial sectors. In addition, blockchain could and most likely will be applied in different areas from copyright to managing the voting process and government. Because of this, it is necessary to create a good legislative base to ensure immunity from initiatives related to digital oblivion and the need to edit and delete data. It is possible that blockchain technology eventually will be introduced into all spheres of human life.Show More Show less
Jan 27 2019Press release
PhotoVault by Artezio Gets TouchID and FaceID SupportPhotoVault, an app for storing secrets, will support the most technologically advanced identification tools. Thus, information stored in special folders will be protected at the iOS operating system level.
PhotoVault by Artezio creates an extra level of protection for photos, videos, and documents. Users just need to move their private files to the folders offered by the app, and afterwards it will be impossible to find or view them without additional identification.
Creating PhotoVault, the development team sought to minimize the possibility of accessing files accidentally when the smartphone is unlocked or the password is known not only to the owner. In PhotoVault, you can use a symbolic password as well as modern identification systems – TouchID and FaceID.
“ PhotoVault is a solution for protecting user data. Therefore, we added new identification tools that were developed by Apple and are positioned by the corporation as reliable protection of devices against unauthorized access to data,” says Igor Esipovich, Head of Artezio Mobile Development Department.
The mobile app allows not only hiding files, but also has the features that reduce the possibility of unauthorized access. To do this, users can set a false password and track hacking attempts.
The app is available for all iOS devices on the Apple Store.Show More Show less
Jan 22 2019Press release
Artezio and Sberbank Developed a Guide to Create Websites for People with Special NeedsAccessible Internet services are a way to create a barrier-free environment when everyone (regardless of physical limitations) gets access to all capabilities of the information network. Artezio team helped Sberbank of Russia to adapt the information guide for the program purposes to create accessible sites.
“ In Russia, about 50 mln people have special needs, which is almost a third of the country’s citizens. They are people with disabilities, elderly people, and those who are temporarily in a special situation: parents with babies or people with broken arms or legs. The guide was developed for the Sberbank Group of companies. But we decided to share it with the professional community, because we want everyone to be able to contribute to the accessibility of the digital environment,” say the authors at the official site of the project.
The new information project is an example of an accessible resource. Artezio specialists have done a lot of work so that the information on the site is structured in accordance with the international standard WCAG 2.1 and is easy to read, including people with special needs.
“ When doing the page layout, we tried to use components that were already tested and met all the requirements of the information accessibility standard. It was necessary to adapt the navigation elements and, in general, all interactive and static objects on the pages for people who use special voice readers on the Internet,” says Andrey Shagalov, Artezio Quality Assurance Director.
Besides, people who were involved in the project testing were those for whom the availability of content and services on the Internet was of high importance.
“ A visually impaired testing specialist participated in the project on the part of Sberbank; it was very interesting experience that allowed us to understand how web apps are perceived by people with special needs as well as to take a different look at the design and creation of such apps. It is important to understand that by helping people with special needs to easily use digital services, we simultaneously make them easier and more accessible to all,” highlights Andrey Shagalov.
Work on creating accessible resources in Russia will continue. It is planned that in January 2019 Artezio team will hold a master class on the development of accessible services for Sberbank developers.
Show More Show less
Jan 11 2019Article
How to Do Business with Аgile: Using IT Tools to Beat CompetitorsHow to Do Business with А gile: Using IT Tools to Beat Competitors
Alexey Latinnik, the Head of Internal Development Department at Artezio
The rapidly changing market conditions and mass automation are forcing businesses to look for new methods of dealing with competitors. Many companies and entrepreneurs are trying to repeat the success and reveal the secret formula for the success of IT leaders: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft with revenues exceeding the GDP of some countries. What business practices can be learned from IT companies to beat competitors? Maybe Agile?
What makes successful companies successful?
We live in the era of the digital economy where new information products and services come to the fore, they are closely intertwined in all spheres of life, and therefore, this is the reason for success. Just look at the Fortune Global 500 list. At the forefront are WalMart, BP, Toyota Motor, and Volkswagen. The IT giant Apple takes only the ninth position. Thus, it turns out that it is not necessary to work with IT products to succeed.
There is no magic formula or “silver bullet”. However, common features and trends are easily traced in the actions of all successful companies. For example, flexibility, responsiveness and readiness for change; focus on creating a continuous stream of values; continuous improvement of the product, processes and team; short supply cycles, experiments to test ideas on the market. Such companies are said to be on the path of Agile transformation.
This can be described by the term Business Agility — this is a way of doing business in which an organization puts the interests of a client first and agrees to continuously adjust to their changing needs.
How does Agile work?
Obviously, the old planned model with a hierarchical or matrix structure has become obsolete and taken a back seat. The situation on the market can change at any second and following a clear plan, approved at the beginning of the year, can be a disastrous decision. Even if you try to quickly agree on a new course of action, bureaucratic procedures will slow down this process so much that the new plan may be irrelevant.
In the field of IT, the analogue of a planned economy is the so-called cascade (waterfall) software development model. It requires a clear detailed wording in the requirements and a consistent transition to other stages without the possibility of returning to the previous stage. Simply put, this is a sequential action plan. Therefore, an error that has crept into the tasks may initially become a serious problem at the development, testing, or implementation stage. In addition, the result, which is a working software solution, as a product, will be visible at the very end after going through all project stages. What is it possible to do in such a case, what alternatives are there?
Suppose a large customer has come to you with a multi-billion dollar contract. Will you refuse such a customer who will say: "I am ready to pay good money, but I want to see the result right away; I have no requirements, but I have a general concept." Is it possible to take on such a project? It may seem that implementing such a project is a utopia with a previously known sad end. This is not true if you are familiar with Agile.
Agile practices allow iteratively creating a product (Product Increment) under uncertainty, gradually enlarging it to the final state. By the end of the iteration (Sprint) equal, for example, to two weeks, you will have a ready-made working prototype with a basic set that you will be able to demonstrate to the client and immediately receive feedback. Work is built in such a way that the most important tasks (User Story) that have the highest priority from a business point of view are always taken into work. If the task becomes irrelevant, it is simply removed from the task list (Product Backlog) or roadmap. This allows you to quickly check the key concept, review the strategy and promptly deliver the product and services that meet modern realities.
Using the task board with statuses (Kanban board) allows you to visualize the current state of affairs and move tasks from the initial state to the "ready" state. To do this, you can use the Internet analogs of Kanban boards (Trello, Jira Agile, TFS, etc.) or physical boards, with lined columns of statuses (for example, “what to do”, “in operation”, “checked”, “done”, etc.) and stickers with the name of tasks, estimate, and executor.
What is the value of Agile?
The core values of Agile were formed by the independent IT specialists in February 2001 and are reflected in the Agile Manifesto, which consists of 4 key ideas and 12 principles.
The following Agile values are highlighted:
1. People and interaction are more important than processes and tools
Allow the team to organize themselves and solve work issues on the spot communicating with each other. No one in the team likes micromanagement and excessive bureaucracy.
2. Working product is more important than documentation
Better do than talk or write about what needs to be done. When you do a small piece of work and show the result, you will understand earlier if it works or not. Experiment, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but correct them the next time (conduct regular retrospective analysis with the team).
3. Cooperation with the customer is more important than meeting the terms of the contract
Stay in touch with your clients. Give them what they need and what they want. Offer a ready-made working solution, and not just the fulfillment of a contract for obligations. The customer must be a part of the team.
4. Willingness to change is more important than following the original plan
Everything is changing fast, so let's be flexible, although it may be too late to become flexible. It is convenient to track changes during the regular review of the task list and “cleaning” of outdated irrelevant tasks (Backlog grooming). Review priorities with the customer, priorities are not static — in the next iteration, priorities for tasks may change. It should be noted that the Agile Manifesto does not at all deny the importance of tools, processes, plans, documentation, etc., it rather sets priorities aimed at obtaining high-quality operational results, which ultimately allows businesses to do business.
Where is Agile used other than IT?
Let's look at some examples of using Agile practices by non-IT companies.
- Amancio Ortega Goana, the owner of the world's largest retailer of fashion clothes Inditex that includes such brands as Zara, Zara Home, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho and others actively apply agile approaches in almost all his companies. Constant experimentation for hypothesis testing, quick entry of a new product with a short time-to-market cycle (Time to Market), and quick feedback from customers allow Zara to produce up to 40 collections per year, compared to other brands making just from 4 to 8 collections.
- Air Methods (the founder is Roy Morgan, over 6,000 employees), specializing in providing emergency medical care using air transport, faced the problem of staff training and did not understand how much time and effort it would take to create trainings and training projects.
The trainers adopted Agile practices, in particular the Scrum framework, using the task board (Trello tool), backlog management, and prioritization. Tasks from interested persons were collected on the board, each task was assigned a category: “green” tasks, the most important ones, can be performed now; “Red” are in the queue. Regularly, as the “green” tasks were resolved, the team and stakeholders gathered to identify new priorities and discussions.
- From 2008 to 2011, the Norwegian State Pension Fund implemented a large-scale project for domestic needs where 12 Scrum teams were involved. At various times, the number of participants reached from 80 to 180+ people. Without the support of the top management, this project could hardly be implemented.
Agile techniques established well in small and medium businesses: in recruiting companies, retail and commerce, restaurant and hotel business, companies organizing events, exhibitions, etc.
Agile is closer to you than you even think. You won’t believe it, but housing maintenance services also use Agile practices with daily planning meetings and the ability to increase the priority of tasks if the customer really insists. Some waiters still write down orders into notebooks and use stickers in the order queue in the kitchen for cooking.
Why doesn't Agile always work?
Once again, I want to note that Agile is not a panacea. Many companies failed to accept Agile for various reasons after several attempts to introduce it with the help of experienced Agile managers and coaches. The reasons are expensive implementation and training, revision of all processes, lack of qualified specialists, no understanding of implementation goals or implementation of Agile in a separate business area process, fear of making mistakes and experiments, lack of interest and lack of motivation, no confidence in the staff for the delegation of authority, a rigid hierarchical structure of the company and unnecessarily used legalized processes, psychological resistance to all innovations and changes, and much more. Besides, Agile should not be used in projects with a high degree of risk occurrence (development of life support systems, in the aerospace industry, atomic energy, etc.). Therefore, it is worth thinking several times and thoroughly examining the issue before introducing the Business Agility into your company.
How should Agile be used in everyday life?
Finally, I will share some life hacks: some elements of Agile can be useful in everyday life, for example, in a project called “celebrate the New Year”:
● Plan a sprint and rank the tasks. Make up a simple TO-DO list of tasks, more important ones are placed at the top of the list (go to sauna; buy champagne and food; invite Vasya, Vera, Nadya, Lyuba to the party; congratulate relatives; cook Olivier salad; decorate a Christmas tree, etc.).
Copy the task list to the stickers and specify the friends’ names. Use a Kanban board, a lined notebook, or just a wall with status columns (“Not Done”, “Someone is Doing Something”, “Done”), put our stickers on the wall.
● Have a daily scrum or brief meeting status with the team: what I did yesterday, what I’m planning for today, if there are any problems (in our case, the New Year chat in the messenger can be used).
During the sprint itself (it’s only 2 weeks left till the New Year!), look at the board, shift the task stickers as things progress (The girls did great job, and Vasya didn’t do anything! We’ll have to give this task to someone else and ask Nadya to buy tangerines and chairs).
● Conduct a demo and review of the sprint (everything seems to be ready as planned: everyone gathered at the table and TV, the Christmas tree and guests are dressed up; dishes, Olivier salad, slicing, champagne and everything is ready; the chiming clock; wait, someone is missing. .. it seems that we forgot Vasya in the car).
● Do a retrospective analysis (we hold a meeting and talk with the team on January 1. Vasya for some reason is not completely satisfied, we analyze why).
● De-Javu or planning a new sprint-2 (we are thinking over how to celebrate Old New Year again at Vasya's place).
And finally, I’d like to add: don’t be afraid to implement Agile, be careful not to introduce Agile.Show More Show less
General Information - Artezio
Location - Artezio
Executives - Artezio
Mr. Dmitry Rodionov
Deputy MD/Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Spoken languages English
Opening hours - Artezio
Activities - Artezio
Secondary activities within the Kompass classification
Other classifications (for some countries)
NAICS (US 2012) : Custom Computer Programming Services (541511)
SIC (US 1987) : Computer Programming Services (7371)