Data intelligence has become a buzz phrase in which all things internet and technology have circulated around in the past few years. There looms a fear that the data that is being produced daily on the web cannot be tamed in time or efficiently enough. This forum included topics surrounding privacy issues, trustmarks, blockchains, AI and international policies. As the machines are thriving, we humans must not forget to bring forth what technology cannot — human value.

NGI Forum is hosted annually by the European Commission, to bring together experts from all realms of business, tech, legal and social sectors to discuss matters pertaining to how to proceed forward for the safe and ethical usage of the internet. The main topic that was discussed was that we are so focused on the technology, that we forget to add the emotional intelligence from our natural human-centered behavior. Nowadays, every aspect of technology which transcends into our daily lives is automated and mass-produced in so that humans are losing the touch that makes us human. Francesca Bria, Senior Advisor of Digital Cities and Digital Rights for the United Nations, states that we must not forget about the people. When we put people before technology, greater good will come from it, rather than vice versa.

Another aspect of the future of internet is our mindset. Jaana Sinipuro, Project Director at SITRA, claims that particularly in Finland, “companies are afraid to try because we are afraid of taking chances”. This viewpoint and mindset needs to be changed into daring to try and being open to change. She believes that Finnish companies can lag behind the rest of the world due to this way of thinking. If we are to change the future of internet and technology for the betterment of society, there must be forward thinking and proactive decisions. Meeri Haataja, CEO of Saidot, recounts a story about doing business in the United States. When an innovative idea is set on the table in the States, there is no hesitation in moving onward with the implementation. It is important to think on the matter, but more important to act on it. The action is what initiates progress.

As Martin Wezowski, Chief Designer and Futurist at SAP, suggests: Every day, wake up and ask yourself this question — WTF? What’s the future? Create solutions that will be the most empathic symbiosis between machine intelligence and human ingenuity. There is still much left to do. Let’s get to work.

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