Internet of Opportunity: Will the Internet Benefit All Europeans?




It is a proper time to discuss about the Internet of Opportunities.

But let me say at the beginning: how important is to understand threats, concerns –  unfortunately clearly visible in the era of Internet. It will be easier to show what kind of great opportunities we have, recognising those threats.

The first point:

The growing phenomenon of fake news. This is a useful tool in the new models of public and political wars with the purpose to create populistic emotions by giving to the audience the untrue information, which can be disseminated with enormous speed reaching in hours millions of people.  It is the precise machine to establish the propaganda vision and the understanding of the world in very specific way – under manipulation. It is based on the social phenomenon of the bubble groups, done by the algorithms, which mean people living in the echo-chambers, what is damaging for the democracy.

It is so called the negative game changer for the democracy in its nature: openness, dialogue, exchange of views, evidence based policies allowing to solve problems. How the evidence can build whatever if the evidence is undermined – by fake science ?

The background of this phenomenon is related to the substance of the Internet: democratisation of the access to all sources of information and content. Too many aggregated sources and the lack of media literacy bring to us – the uncertainty.

But, look at the educational open sources, look at some attempts to support the Massive Online Open Courses, look at some independent websites with true information. Look at some social actions organising people around the globe with clear good purposes – as emergency assistance after the natural disaster. They are credible.

So – if we want to keep the Internet of Opportunity at the information field ( in a broad sense)  – we need to work together on  – CREDIBILITY.

For  credibility  – the broad sense of digital literacy is needed. Generally speaking – it is necessary to give people the tools to understand better how to not only use the Internet, but also how to use the Internet in wise way, with open mind.

This is fundamental for the Internet of Opportunities.

Second point:

The growing significance of the Big Data development.  There is no possibility to  move forward in the science, in the economy, in the sharing economy, in the public services, such as medical services, in the security  – without taking and collecting the data, without processing them, transferring, using and re-using. It concerns both the personal and non-personal data. But we need the free flow of data.

All those require the proper conditions. There were many examples of using personal data without any consent, without any consideration on people’s privacy needs, only with focus: how to monetise the data in the new business models, extremely targeted marketing etc.

If we want to use and utilise the data – some conditions are needed. The principle of consent and the position for us as data real controllers  – are crucial. The rules of adequacy, proportionality,  purpose minimisation  – are important. The instruments for data pseudonimisation and anonimisation – are technically and legally necessary. And first of all – the agreement on how to use the data is – the most important.

It create TRUST.

Trust between users as clients, consumers, humans, citizens and –  business and public authorities is the background for the future Big Data development. We need this trust at the global level. European Regulation on Data Protection, agreement with US – the Privacy Shield, future possible agreement with Japan: are the key factors to establish the framework for the global solution.

So, to raise the awareness of the privacy issues and the issue of trust is key for the Internet of Opportunities.

Third point:

The growing meaning of the cybersecurity problems. Every year we are losing just about 450 bln USD  due to the cybercrime attacks. 25% of this amount concerns the cyber industrial espionage.

Emerging technologies become a greater part of our lives. Because Internet is everywhere, for everybody and everything is related to the Internet – the cybersecurity is one of the key challenge.

But it requires the adequate policies and sharing responsibilities. All companies, even small  – should be prepared to make the risk assessment on the cybersecurity issues. All individuals should take their own responsibilities for their own everyday behavior using all their devices.  We need to teach cybersecurity skills at schools – those skills have to be made as essential as washing hands, a kind of cybersecurity hygiene is needed. All institutions should exchange the information about cyber attacks – not only the European network and cooperation are necessary, but also at the global level we need stronger cooperation.

And of course – common standards, certification schemes and to make them  as widely used as possible are key for the global solutions.

Why it is so important ?

Because security of the digital world is now the GUARANTEE of the SECURITY in general, also our feeling of the physical security. Cybercrime is developing, cyberwar models with  disinformation linked with misinformation are developing, phenomena as WannaCry can stop the digital development. For sure, they are undermining the credibility and the trust.

Internet of Opportunities have to be secure, if we really want to take up all those opportunities, but first of all – feel secure and safe in the world.

The fourth point:

The growing significance of our dependency on all devices around us. As infrastructure is improving – we are using the Internet in all its possible functions. We are in the middle of all interconnections. Are we loosing something ? Are we forgetting about something ? What is the psychological and social cyber effect ?  What kind of impact, especially on children growing up from an early childhood in parallel ways with access to digital devices and their different functions – the digital have ? What kind of mental shape this generation will have ?

How much we need to be aware of all opportunities of this digital game changer and – at the same time of all threats  – avoiding the latter ?

We live in the time, in which the 5G as a new infrastructure enabler –  is starting. Due to the extremely low latency combined with incredibly high bandwidth we will be able to use the network of networks and provide the possibility to manage the unprecedented demand for data and more connected devices.

5 G will be the real connectivity game changer with high speed and large capacity.

This is the background for the Gigabit society. Autonomous cars will become possible – the way from ADAS: advanced driver assistance systems to fully self-driving is developing. Internet of Things will change the manufacturing processes, the ways of logistics, the selling models, the functioning of our homes and our styles of lives. Sensors will inform sensors, the sequences of data will go through the cities changing the transportation and reducing the congestions, bringing the efficiency of energy, protecting environment by much more adjusted measures. Smart cities will open the opportunities for smart education and eHealth solutions.

Hospitals will cooperate among themselves in the completely new way, the telemedicine will make the life of patients more convenient. Monitoring of state of health  in the real time – will allow for application of better therapies, much more personalised. The new paradigm of healthcare can be implemented, more patient’s centric and focused on prevention.

The new educational paradigm can be achieved, more adjusted to the individual needs and the stages of the cycle of life.  

5 G can change our lives totally. And I hope that it will be accessible for everybody – without any exclusion: residents of the rural areas and elderly people.

But it should coincide with the growing awareness of the Gigabit Society and its opportunities.  

The last, the fifth point: 

Now, we can not imagine yet, comprehensively: how the Artificial Intelligence will change the humans’ lives.

But, AI is coming.

The roots of AI, machine learning, is already in use everywhere, from the commonplace (voice-to-text, photo tagging and fraud detection) to the cutting-edge (precision medicine, injury prediction and autonomous cars). We’re creating AI that will enable machines to augment human capabilities, automate tedious or dangerous tasks, unleash scientific discovery, and address challenging societal problems – as robots supporting disabled or elderly people in their everyday functions, helping them to avoid being completely excluded from the life. This is a huge opportunity.

On the other hand we need to differentiate various kinds of robots. Many of them will replace workers in manufacturing processes – they will make the work fully automated. It means that people should be earlier prepared to the new tasks and roles – e.g.as collaborators of those robots and their controllers.

But the learning machines will be able to play much more complicated role. They will replace people in many non-routine activities.

So, fundamental is the question: how humans and AI can cooperate rather, than replace each other ? How they need to communicate, what kind of relations between them will exist ? For humans – it is the new challenge. For Artificial Intelligence – also.

Where will be the borders of friendly cooperation, who and in what manner will take the liability for possible incidents ?  

All those questions are crucial, very often regarding the ethical issues, showing that  AI revolution is not only the next stage of the digital revolution, but it establishes the completely  new challenge.

In all industrial revolutions, also with current 4th industrial revolution – the technologies created the extension of physical body of the human. It has changed the world. But the AI revolution creates the new possibilities:  AI is becoming not only the extension of human’s physical functions, but can become the extension of the human’s mind.

It directly leads me to putting some essential questions, close to them, which have the practical dimension. This is the only way to begin the new relation: humans – robots  as an open opportunity. 

The Internet of Opportunities is our chance.

But it requires a deeper understanding of all conditions and the context – holistic approach.

We need the credibility at the area of  information and media and we need the trust, when we see the problems of data – as drivers for the Internet of Opportunities, key for us – as users.

We need the guarantees of security and safety as the background for going ahead  with the digital development.

We need to know how the 5G can change our lives – avoiding threats and not being totally dependent on technologies.

And finally, we have to take the risk of starting cooperation with AI, if we want to keep control of the AI development.

With those,  let’s go forward!