Mazars Forum 2018, the fifth edition is a wrap. Through its annual event, Mazars dedicates a platform for dialogue and confrontation on digitization and its impact on economy and businesses. This year's edition was an indisputable success, not only because of the topicality of the theme, but also for its demanding audience and the captivating speakers. Thought provoking hypotheses about the transformation that digitization will produce on humanity have been debated upon, the big question being: how will man's position change in relation to what he creates and uses?
Highlights have been issues such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, personal data protection, robotics, and the adverse effects of technology on the individual and society: the public fully engaged, commented with much interest and humor, laughed, questioned, and new collaborations resulted.
The first panel debate unfolded around the idea that humans will always find means to adapt to the adverse living conditions. The smartest creatures of the food chain will no doubt integrate the artificial existence and robots will never rule the world.
Technology promoters like George Buhnici, journalist and already a cyborg: ”We live in beautiful times, the greatest of times to be alive for technology and the evolution of humankind.
Humans own the Earth, but who will rule the world when we’re no longer the smartest on the planet - with us, for us, against us?
What do we need to do: don’t panic, plan ahead and keep our eyes open. Be smart about it. Robotisation is here. We need to get our head out of the box, everything is getting better through technology, we should all embrace it try to understand it and use it as a tool.”
Marc Atallah, ZetaFox: warned of the misuse of personal data and the illusion of safety in the cyber world:”Your data is used to make the models better. These companies use data to build algorithms, the more data you give the better their algorithms work, the more money they generate. The only way to get out of it today: make you pay for a subscription or pay you back for using your data. You are part of their business model.”
Bogdan Botezatu, Senior Analyst Bitdefender:”Cyber security solutions are not a substitute for common sense. Get educated! Don’t get yourself sold a promise to good to be true.”
Sebastian Cochinescu, UB:”Secure by design does not mean it is not hackable. This applies to blockchain as well.”
Keynote speaker Prof. Manfred Spitzer, German neuroscientist, present for the first time in Romania, calls for a better regulation and a responsible use of technology. “Too many and severe are the risks and side-effects caused by smart devices: addiction, aggression, anxiety, depression, decreased attention, lack of empathy and life satisfaction. The dosage makes the poison! We have to protect the children and adolescents!”
Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček raised the awareness on how the migration into an abstract world where creation takes ownership of the creator. “We have become like Gods. What would Moses think of us? We are living in an un-survivable environment. Modern technology does it possible. We moved from forest to the city. Everything surrounding us is artificial. We are covered in the invisible condom of the advanced society. We are building fictional world, actually habitable, it’s imaginable for our kids to spend 50% of our time in a non-existing world.”
Pete Swabey, The Economist IU, Ioana Avădani, CJI, and Peter H. Frank, American journalist and writer, joined the keynote speakers and expressed in the final panel about tectonic changes at the society level.
Pete Swabey:”There are uniquely human capabilities that we believe would take longer to automate, if indeed that is even possible. There is social intelligence, cognitive intelligence, and perception and manipulation of complex environment.
Social intelligence is obviously empathy, caring for people. Cognitive intelligence relates to problem solving and perception and manipulation is simply the fact that computer vision is, although hugely improving, the sophistication of the cost of robotics hands can’t keep pace with humans. These are the things that people believe are less susceptible to automation, so if you think you might be in a position susceptible to automation focus on things that are more social, add new value.”
Peter H. Frank:”The technological evolution is unstoppable. There is such a mad ecosystem of people and money pushing forward because we can. We can get to the Moon, we can; we can get artificial intelligence, we can.
My fear is that people lose the recognition that, no, children don’t need to play with smart phones. So, the human beings need to discover what it is that they actually are.”
Ioana Avadani: ”For the time being we define the values. The moment we decide that there are five things that represent values, and we can deliver them and the robots cannot, we are safe. But based on the current situation, the only thing we can provide and the robots cannot in a fifty years perspective is life. You still need genetic material. Can you imagine a world where the biological persons will be kept just for procreation and everything else will be provided by robots?”
"This edition of the Forum, which has been the most extensive ever since, has confirmed that our audience appreciates quality topics, is concerned about the future and is faithful to us every year. It went to the next level. We are proud to bring added value to our partners and the community through all our actions", concludes Dino Ebneter, managing partner of Mazars Romania.
Mazars is an international, integrated and independent organization, specializing in audit, accountancy, advisory, tax and legal services. As of January 1st, 2018, Mazars operates throughout the 86 countries that make up its integrated partnership. Mazars draws upon the expertise of 20,000 women and men. We assist clients of all sizes, from SMEs to mid-caps and global players as well as start-ups and public organizations, at every stage of their development.
In Romania, MAZARS has a more than 20 years of experience in audit, tax, accounting & payroll and advisory services, being active on the market since 1995. The local team comprises more than 160 professionals.