5G is here to make the world see. Are we ready for it?

September 17, 2020
Artificial intelligence relies on the ability for computers to translate and process massive amounts of data. This places cameras – referring to a unique lens and sensor used for image capture – at the epicenter of the upcoming IoT era. How are we preparing for it?
Telecommunications operators have been racing to build the fifth generation (5G) of wireless technology and it is now being rolled out around the world. A few weeks ago, it also reached my home country, Denmark. Having spent 16 years in the telecommunications industry, and the past 3 years in the video tech business, I am hugely excited about the development.

In 5G’s wake, the IoT era will truly come into its own, having as big an impact on the daily world as the smartphone had in the 2G era. 5G is setting new standards for speed and bandwidth – and it goes way beyond downloading a movie in seconds on your phone. It will expand to encompass all sorts of “things,” from autonomous cars, to augmented reality glasses, as 5G’s greater capacity and reduced latency will enable humans to act on societal challenges in new and far more effective and better-informed ways.

In short, 5G is the foundation for realizing the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the purpose of measuring, collecting, and analyzing data, so we can make our cities, homes, and businesses work better.
With new technologies come new risks
Indisputably, the new technologies also come with new risks – namely around cybersecurity and data privacy. Risks that government bodies, companies and we as individuals need to take seriously. But even with the risks and uncertainties involved, I feel confident that the 5G infrastructure will enable huge advancements to society that will outweigh the potential downsides. If we take conscious and responsible choices about how we apply the technology at hand.

Just look at the world during COVID-19. In the past six months, technology has come to the fore to mitigate the crisis, e.g. we have seen that hospitals have explored greater use of video to consult with patients and manage ongoing care where appropriate to reduce unnecessary close contact. Many patients have applauded this. Some have even attended more therapy sessions remotely than they would otherwise, because of the convenience. This indicates that this may in fact be the preferred option for some people – even after the pandemic.

With 5G and IoT, technology brings further advancements to transportation, retail, healthcare and many other sectors. Machine type communications will be used to monitor patients via massive sensor networks and to power smart pills that can record drug ingestion to avoid medication errors, which cost lives. Ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) will power telemedicine, remote recovery, augmented reality physical therapy and even remote surgery. The world’s first 5G remote operation already took place in the Chinese province, Fujian, when a surgeon used 5G technology to operate from 30 miles away on a laboratory test animal.
Visual data is the main artery for artificial intelligence

More than 50 percent of the human brain, is devoted to processing visual information. Therefore, the majority of the data needed for artificial intelligence to automate processes and enable humans to make more efficient and better-informed decisions, will rely on the ability for computers to translate high quality visual data.

This places cameras – referring to a unique lens and sensor used for image capture – at the epicenter of the upcoming IoT era. Coupled with the right analytical tools, cameras will not only monitor, but also facilitate an automation of the many complex processes involved in e.g. manufacturing.

But hey, don’t forget: Artificial intelligence may be the core of a connected and digital organization, but it is human intelligence that is the core of a successful implementation.

With power comes responsibility
Milestone Systems is a global leader within video management software. Standing at the edge of the IoT era and considering the importance of strong, reliable software to manage and process the huge amounts of visual data to be collected in the years to come, I can’t think of a more exciting company and industry to be in.

But even if we are looking into a blue ocean of opportunities, and we are here to make a profit, it does not mean that we should pursue the opportunities in an uncritical manner.

As mentioned in the beginning, we all have a responsibility to mitigate and try to eliminate the risks involved – this clearly also goes for Milestone Systems. As a leading global video management software (VMS) provider, it is our obligation to help set the agenda for secure and responsible video technology use.

Here are some of the important first steps, we have taken:
In 2017, we joined more than 150 representatives from technology companies around the world to author and sign the Copenhagen Letter. The letter is a declaration that calls on tech companies of all types to put people first—rather than business and profits—when designing and using technology. We embrace the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights for our platform’s use. In our license agreements it is stated that we are prepared to disable the license if customers abuse our VMS technology. And yes, we have executed on this.    Milestone has invested heavily in getting our product GDPR-certified by EuroPriSe. This is to help ensure data privacy in line EU legislation. We release new software versions 3 times yearly to ensure updates latest security measures. Milestone offers system configuration and maintenance to ensure proactive management of cybersecurity risk I am looking forward to the journey ahead!

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Malou Mousten Dyhr Toft
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