Last update: 06 Aug 2019
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.
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 i