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Why searches of the near future will be button-free

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In future, searching will be almost entirely button-free, according to Huawei’s new Global Industry Vision (GIV) report, which offers predictions for technology and industry development up to 2025.

Drawing from Huawei’s own quantitative data and real-world use cases of how intelligent technology is permeating every industry, this year’s report identifies 10 megatrends currently shaping how we live and work. GIV also predicts technology trends up until 2025, including 5G coverage, AI deployment, home robot adoption, and smart assistant use rates.

The 10 trends and examples of GIV’s key predictions for 2025 are as follows:

1. Living with Bots: Advances in material science, perceptual AI, and network technologies are powering the uptake of robotics in a variety of home and personal scenarios. GIV predicts a 14% global penetration rate of home robots.

2. Super Sight:  The convergence of 5G, VR/AR, machine learning, and other emerging technologies will let us see beyond distance, distortion, surface, and history, opening up new vistas for people, business, and culture. GIV predicts that the percentage of companies using AR/VR will increase to 10%.

3. Zero Search: As data-driven and sensor-equipped appliances and devices begin anticipating our needs, information will find us. Future searches will be button-free, personal social networks will be created effortlessly, and industry will benefit from “zero-search maintenance”. GIV predicts that 90% of smart device owners will use intelligent personal assistants.

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4. Tailored Streets: Intelligent transport systems will connect people, vehicles, and infrastructure, creating zero congestion, rapid emergency response, and other functions that will make life smoother. GIV predicts that 15% of vehicles will have Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything  technology.

5. Working with Bots: Already transforming many industries, smart automation will take on more hazardous, repetitive, and high-precision tasks – a boon for safety and productivity.

GIV predicts that there will be 103 robots in industry for every 10,000 employees.

6. Augmented Creativity: Cloud AI will cut the cost and barrier of entry to scientific experimentation, innovation, and art, opening up a goldmine of creative potential that’s available to all. GIV predicts that 97% of large companies will have deployed AI.

7. Frictionless Communication: AI and big data analytics will create seamless communication between companies and customers and break down language barriers. Accuracy, understanding, and trust will underpin tomorrow’s communications. GIV predicts that enterprises will fully use of 86% of the data that they produce.

8. Symbiotic Economy: Companies across the planet are adopting digital tech and smart applications on unified access platforms – that means greater collaboration, resource-sharing, stronger global ecosystems, and higher productivity. GIV predicts that every company everywhere will be using cloud technology and 85% of business applications will be cloud-based.

9. 5G’s rapid rollout: 5G is here and it’s landing far faster than any previous wireless generation – the potential for individuals, businesses, and society is enormous. GIV predicts that 58% of the world’s population will have access to 5G.

10. Global Digital Governance: Advancements in digital tech must be balanced by shared data standards and principles for data use. GIV predicts that the annual volume of global data will reach 180 ZB (1 ZB = 1 trillion GB).

According to the CMO of Huawei ICT Infrastructure Kevin Zhang, “Human exploration will never stop. We should set our sights beyond what we see now and look to the future, shifting from innovation to invention. We’re seeing rapid changes to life, work, and society as every industry adopts AI, 5G, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies. Huawei is committed to building digital platforms, user experiences, and intelligent technology that power ubiquitous connectivity in every scenario. It’s our mission to offer every person, home, and organization an intelligent future and the benefits of entirely new opportunities for growth.”

With the first report released in 2018, GIV @2025 is designed to analyze industry development trends and serve as a strategic guide for ICT deployment.

For more information about GIV@2025, please visit: www.huawei.com/minisite/giv/en

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TikTok takes on COVID-19

The fastest growing social media platform in the world has also become an epicenter of public education about the coronavirus, attracting more than 30-billion views, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The young have been getting a bad rap for wanting to party on while COVID-19 sends the world into lockdown. But a different movie is playing itself out on the social platform that is growing fastest among teenagers: TikTok.

Awareness campaigns by TikTok itself, collaboration with the International Red Cross, and spontaneous videos made by TikTok creators have combined into a barrage of information, education, awareness and social consciousness around the coronavirus.

Both globally and in South Africa, TikTok’s COVID-19 campaigns have gone viral.

The local #HayiCorona challenge, designed to remind people not to touch their face and wash hands regularly, has passed 1.5-million views. The TikTok collaboration with the International Red Cross, the #WashingHands challenge, has passed 12.6-million views.

One of the best-known participants in these challenges is the past year’s icon of South African talent, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, took up the global challenge with a 20-second hand-washing video. It put together a performance that brings tremendous energy to what can be a clichéd message, and ends with a punt for the Department of Health’s WhatsApp information service. The video can be viewed below.

@ndlovuyouthchoir

Our community has limited access to running water. Follow these instructions on how to safely wash your hands using a bucket. ##coronavirus##washinghands

♬ original sound – ndlovuyouthchoir

“On a global scale, TikTok also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that, while creators are still having fun and expressing themselves on the platform, they stay informed with COVID-19 information coming from a reliable source,” a TikTok spokesperson told us. “Through the partnership, the WHO has created an informational page on TikTok that offers information to curb the spread of the coronavirus as well as dispelling myths.”

The page can be viewed at https://vm.tiktok.com/GHTEGf

TikTok has hosted a number of livestreams with WHO experts, attracting users from more than 70 countries, tuning in for live question and answer sessions. It has also introduced labels on coronavirus-related videos, to point users to trusted information. Resources are also offered directly in the app and in a dedicated COVID-19 section of TikTok’s Safety Center, at https://www.tiktok.com/safety/resources/covid-19.

If users simply want to explore videos on the topic, they can search via the #coronavirus hashtag, or click on https://vm.tiktok.com/swKbn4. The hashtag has had an astonishing 33.8-billion views, indicating the scale of activity and interest around the topic on the platform.

Read more on the next page about how South Africans have embraced the campaign.

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On World Backup Day: backup, backup, backup

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It was World Backup Day yesterday, 31 March, at a time when business continuity is threatened as never before. That makes calls for protecting email and defending against ransomware all the more urgent.

The global coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief many organisations’ lack of business continuity plans and policies. With more than two billion people around the globe in forced lockdown in wide-ranging government efforts to stem the tide of infections, an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.

This interruption to the normal way of work is precisely what an effective and resilient business continuity strategy should plan for, says Heino Gevers, cybersecurity specialist at Mimecast

“Companies need uninterrupted access to critical business applications during times of disruption, including safe and secure web and email access for workers that are now operating outside the normal perimeters of the organisation,” he says. “In addition, comprehensive backup and archiving solutions should be ready to restore access to critical business applications should there be any unplanned downtime to ensure continuity until the crisis passes.”

According to Gevers, the current global crisis is likely to push business continuity up the list of priorities for many organisations that have been disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus.

“Organisations are facing new challenges to their productivity; for example in terms of technical support. If a remote user is infected with malware or ransomware, how does the IT team restore that device or do any remediation without being able to physically access it?”

Gevers advises that organisations implement tools that enhances the data protection capabilities of commonly-used tools such as Office365 and can leverage archived data to provide quick recovery of email data in the event of accidental loss, malicious attacks or technical failure. 

“As adoption of cloud-based business applications grow in the wake of forced lockdowns around the globe, companies need to ensure they have the tools to recover in any situation,” he says. “This includes a data management strategy that combines archiving, backup and data protection capabilities to allow for quick restoration of critical systems and applications in the event of disruption.”

Jasmit Sagoo, head of technology at Veritas for the United Kingdom and Ireland, warns that this is a golden age for cybercriminals looking for ransomware opportunities.

“As the global cost of ransomware continues to grow, this World Backup Day, Veritas is saying: ‘don’t pay up, back up!’,” he says. “Ransomware is said to generate an estimated annual revenue of $1 billion a year, and companies who are not consistent in backing up their data are allowing criminals to line their pockets.

“Ransomware attacks exist only because some businesses can’t survive unless the hackers give them back their data.  So, the key to survival is removing that reliance and being able to regain access to data, without engaging with the cybercriminals.  The best way to do that is with a sound backup strategy.

“Sagoo advises organisations to create isolated, offline backup copies of their data to keep it out of reach of any attackers.  They then need to proactively monitor and restrict backup credentials, while running backups frequently to shrink the risk of potential data loss. Businesses should also test and retest their ransomware defences regularly.

“Ransomware strikes without warning and it doesn’t discriminate between its targets – it can happen to any organisation, large or small. Despite their best efforts, most companies will fall to at least one attack. What distinguishes one victim from another is the ability to bounce back, which ultimately depends on its backup strategy.

“When ransomware hits, organisations that aren’t prepared often feel helpless to do anything other than to submit to their attacker’s demands.   That’s why we’re urging all businesses to use World Backup Day as a catalyst to get ahead of the situation and get their data protected.”

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