January, 24 in Davos, Switzerland, within the Ukrainian House, the first multifunctional site in Ukraine during the history of the World Economic Forum, a panel discussion "Data Science: Ensuring Human Rights Control over Data" took place. Participation in the discussion was attended by representatives of Ukrainian IT-business and international experts: Phaedra Croussos, Chief Innovation Officer, Libra Group (USA); Alex Friedland, Managing Director of Private Equity Soros Fund Management (USA); Boris Pracyuk, Head of the R&D department of the company Ciklum (Ukraine); Oleksii Skrypnyk, People's Deputy of Ukraine, founder of ELEKS.
The main topics of the discussion were the development of technologies based on the analysis of data sets, the impact of these technologies on human life spheres and Ukraine's potential to become the world leader in Data Science.
It is thanks to the "science of data" that we can make super-complex surgical operations, saving lives, providing work for banks and telecom operators, contemplating the development of self-managed vehicles and immersing in virtual travel. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, complemented and virtual reality, Big Data and neural networks - all these technologies that make (or will do so in the near future) our lives more convenient, safer, and sometimes more interesting, are based on Data Science.
90% of all digital data in the world was formed in the last few years. Social networks, smartphones, and gadgets create enormous amounts of data. But how to use these data in favor of society, the economy, the state? How will the development of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning change our lives in the near future? Today, these topics are among the most relevant for the world communityopened the discussion Phaedra Croussos, Chief Innovation Officer at the Libra Group
Oleksiy Skrypnyk, People's Deputy of Ukraine and founder of IT-company ELEKS, emphasizes the importance of the theme: "Data Science is the source of the most valuable and reliable information for the development of modern society, provided that you have sufficient knowledge and skills to work with this information".
Participants in the panel discussion noted that excellent knowledge of the basis of "data science" - mathematics - has become the platform for a powerful examination of Ukrainian IT-companies in Data Science, which helps to solve complex tasks for international clients.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Ukraine held the leading world positions in the study of exact sciences, and its higher educational institutions were considered one of the best.
"Ukrainian engineers were among the first to start work on Machine Learning, Deep Learning-technologies. Now we can see how Google is actively developing these areas, and companies such as Nvidia are actively building infrastructure for Machine Learning. But today we feel more than confident - we have something to show the world", - notes Boris Pratsiuk, head of the R&D department, Ciklum.
He reminded that Ukraine is the birthplace of talented, intelligent and well-educated people.
"Today you can meet a Ukrainian engineer in almost every major Silicon Valley manufacturing company. What distinguishes Ukrainians from others? Quality and education", – said Alex Friedland, Managing Director of Private Equity, Soros Fund Management.
"It is important for Ukraine not to stay on the achieved, but to continue on developing its strengths. Investing in education will help Ukraine to strengthen its position in the world of information technology and become a leading country in the development of high-tech products and services. Technologies based on data analysis are developing very quickly. If now do not give Ukraine an additional impetus for education - it may be late, previous achievements will be lost", - adds Mr. Protsiuk.
Experts also discussed technology development scenarios for several decades.
"Only synergy between Data Science and other areas, especially biotechnologies and bioengineering, will bring tangible benefits to society", – says Oleksii Skrypnyk.
The rapid development of artificial intelligence and machine learning has become one of the most controversial issues of recent times. Participants of the panel shared their thoughts on the matter with the audience.
"I do not think that work will steal most of the jobs. Artificial intelligence can replace us only in those areas where you do not need special knowledge and skills. I am confident that technologies will bring more benefits than harm, will complement and expand human capabilities. In order to remain competitive against the background of artificial intelligence, we will need to be more responsive to the issue of education and our own development", – said Boris Protsiuk.
Ecosystems for IT and Data Science development in Ukraine has become another important topic for discussion.
"The IT-ecosystem in Ukraine is developing very dynamically. Today, we have numerous communities, clusters, accelerators, hubs, industrial associations. All this contributes to the development of technology and IT-business - both service and product", – said Alexei Skrypnyk.
The role of the state in the development of technological communities in Ukraine has become a controversial issue.
"Young enthusiasts have created what is now called the Silicon Valley. And I did not hear that the state participated in its creation somehow. History knows a lot of examples when governments from different countries invested substantial funds to create favorable conditions for the development of IT-business, but they did not succeed. Why? Innovations cannot occur in an empty place and only at the expense of money. The main thing is talent. And highly educated talented people are the main pledge of the rapid development of information technology in Ukraine. Just give them a little more freedom, do not create unnecessary barriers", – summed up Alex Friedland.
The IT Ukraine Association was able to sponsor the Ukrainian House thanks to the support of ELEKS, EPAM, GlobalLogic, Innovecs, Intellias, N-iX, PwC and SoftServe.