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VanRoey.be visited the World AI Week

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During the World AI Week, which took place recently in Amsterdam, leading players in the industry shared their knowledge and looked to the future. Of course, VanRoey.be was also present!

The World AI Week, or #WAIW for short, is a large-scale organisation that brings together the global AI community in Amsterdam, where you will meet both Solution Integrators such as VanRoey.be and Solution Builders such as Microsoft. During the week, more than 100 events will take place that will cover all possible aspects of AI, ranging from new business opportunities, over technology, to legislation and ethical aspects.

VanRoey.be integrates the Microsoft Cognitive Services

As a Gold Partner, VanRoey.be has been using Microsoft Cognitive Services for quite some time now, enabling us to add an extra layer of intelligence to the products we offer to our customers. This could include computer vision technology, but also text recognition and knowledge mining, actually interpreting texts and extracting the essence from them.

VanRoey.be therefore uses Microsoft Cognitive Services to apply AI, an algorithm that is typically trained by VanRoey.be experts, for example to recognise certain objects on an image. Once the algorithm is intelligent enough to be used in practice, the customer can easily continue training it without any knowledge of the underlying code. A concrete example is an application in which wheelchairs and rollators are recognised on camera images in a rest home.

VanRoey.be focuses specifically on the application of AI, less on the development of the underlying algorithms. Microsoft does an excellent job there and as a Gold Partner, VanRoey.be is immediately at the source of all this knowledge.

AI - the hype transcends technology (for the time being)

On the #WAIW you get a good idea of the status of the current technology. In general it can be said that the hype still transcends the technology. People don't know the power of AI yet, so only the most Science-Fiction-like applications are associated with the technology, and it's true that the most imaginative applications are already possible today, so any new technology can be applied for better or for worse. Autonomous weapons are thus a frightening example of a catastrophic application of AI.

More importantly, apart from all the wild fantasies, AI can already be applied on a much more accessible level. Microsoft introduces AI in chatbots and in applications to automate annoying administrative tasks, which are quick wins for companies that use it, not only saving costs and time, but also allowing employees to focus more on more essential tasks. The degree of adaptation to this type of application is very high, and this will be the way for the general public to really get acquainted with AI's potential in the years to come.

Legislation and ethics - the hot AI potato

Another tricky issue that will be discussed at each AI convention is legislation (or the lack thereof). The example of the application of AI in autonomous weapons mentioned above lies like a hot potato in the hands of governments and safety authorities. By way of comparison, there is an international legal framework for the use of nuclear technology, which does not exist for AI.

GDPR legislation has set things in motion with regard to the protection of privacy, but what do we do with the knowledge that AI algorithms accumulate about us?

Discussions about AI and ethics often run high, and a recurring theme in the breakthrough of a new technology is the fear that certain jobs will disappear. AI would be a threat to bookkeepers, secretaries, telephonists, operators, etc. History teaches us that this will not happen, but that we will have to adapt. There is always the clash between technology and craftsmanship, for example. Mackmyra produced a Master Blend Whisky. The Master Blender was not a brewer with decades of valuable experience and knowledge. No, it was an AI algorithm...

There is undeniably a large grey area between what is ethically responsible and what is not. Fortunately, we see that governments are taking action and setting up working groups on this issue.

Conclusion - What's in AI for you?

#WAIW has inspired and demonstrated once again that the potential of AI is enormous. However, we shouldn't focus on the spectacular applications that get a lot of attention on social media. With Microsoft's tools, VanRoey.be is fully committed to the low-threshold applications that offer every company quick wins without making large investments. Read more here more about or come take a look at us Experience Center.

There is undeniably a large grey area between what is ethically responsible and what is not. Fortunately, we see governments taking action and setting up working groups to deal with this issue.”

Written by:

Nicolas Mertens
IoT Cloud Solution Architect

As Solution Architect IoT, Nicolas is ideally placed to translate the functional wishes of a client into the appropriate technical solution. From this role, he has further specialised in Industrial IoT where Remote Monitoring & Predictive Maintenance are central.

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