Think­ing with­out the box

Re­spond­ing to dis­rup­tion is per­haps the most im­por­tant strate­gic is­sue fac­ing busi­nesses and coun­tries to­day.

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - BUSINESS & FINANCE - Mr Dix is a man­ager at EY Malta fo­cused on gam­ing, dig­i­tal and fin­tech Theo Dix

The def­i­ni­tion of dis­rup­tion has ex­panded far be­yond its text­book mean­ing and is now in­flu­enced by de­mo­graphic shifts, glob­al­i­sa­tion, macroe­co­nomic trends and more. As the world evolves, we need to learn fast how we can em­brace emerg­ing dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies to get us ahead.

Dis­rup­tive tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions have worked their way into every sphere of our lives. As the world re­sponds to shifts that would have seemed unimag­in­able even a few years ago, the mes­sage is clear – it is time to start think­ing with­out the box.

Malta’s small size, its EU mem­ber­ship and laws in the English lan­guage make it the per­fect test­ing ground for some of the new tech­nolo­gies cur­rently reach­ing in­flec­tion point. Given that the po­ten­tial eco­nomic up­side could be un­fath­omable, the key ques­tion is: How do we get there?

“Think­ing with­out the box: dis­rup­tion, tech­nol­ogy and FDI” is this year’s theme for EY Malta’s An­nual At­trac­tive­ness Event. Through a series of key­note ad­dresses, panel dis­cus­sion and break­out ses­sions, the con­fer­ence aims to ex­plore how govern­ment and busi­nesses will har­ness the power of dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion in or­der to be the dis­rup­tor rather than the dis­rupted.

There is a lot of ‘noise’ around dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies and in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies are strug­gling to cut through and be heard. Against this back­drop, the Maltese govern­ment has the power to be the cat­a­lyst to put the coun­try on the global in­no­va­tion map.

For ex­am­ple, wouldn’t it be great to have a per­sonal as­sis­tant to help you in­ter­face with var­i­ous govern­ment de­part­ments, scan web­sites to find the right forms, sched­ule a meet­ing or ar­range for the right pub­lic sec­tor em­ployee to call you to help you with your needs? Or in­deed, help you with the setup of a new business? De­vel­op­ments in Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI), Ma­chine Learn­ing, Nat­u­ral Lan­guage Pro­cess­ing and Ro­botic Process Au­to­ma­tion have sparked the emer­gence of Chat­bots that will soon be able to do just that and in­deed much more.

If you were a com­pany de­vel­op­ing such tech­nolo­gies, wouldn’t an op­por­tu­nity to road test your pro­to­types in an English-speak­ing EU mem­ber state not in­ter­est you? And if you are a dig­i­tal com­pany con­sid­er­ing Malta as a base for your op­er­a­tions, wouldn’t such an in­ter­face not be a dream come true?

Ranges of new tech­nolo­gies are start­ing to hit their crit­i­cal in­flec­tion points si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence, Blockchain and the In­ter­net of Things (IoT) prom­ise to truly re­shape the work­places, mar­kets, homes, in­dus­tries and, yes, coun­tries.

With the ad­vances in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing, con­ver­sa­tions can en­able de­vices to an­tic­i­pate, re­act, re­spond and en­hance the phys­i­cal world in much the same way that the in­ter­net cur­rently uses net­works and com­puter screens to en­hance the in­for­ma­tion world. With blockchain-en­abled smart con­tracts, the ex­pec­ta­tion is that de­vices will be able to run and trans­act au­tonomously.

The ro­bots are well and truly com­ing.

The EY con­fer­ence aims to ex­am­ine the build­ing blocks that will truly trans­form Malta into a pioneer in the age of dis­rup­tion. Del­e­gates will an­a­lyse whether we should be fo­cus­ing on self­driv­ing, au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles, as a way of eas­ing con­ges­tion in the near to mid-term; ex­plore the ac­tions to take Malta’s vi­sion to be a global Blockchain and Fin­Tech hub from vi­sion to re­al­ity; ex­am­ine how to sus­tain eco­nomic growth through mas­sive in­creases in pop­u­la­tion; delve into ways Malta’s ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem should cater for the new dig­i­tal econ­omy.

The at­trac­tive­ness event con­venes all of Malta’s key stake­hold­ers and pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor lead­ers. With the event’s scope to stim­u­late al­to­gether new think­ing and de­velop ideas on how to grow Malta’s econ­omy for the fu­ture, we hope Malta’s best and bright­est will at­tend.

EY Malta’s An­nual At­trac­tive­ness Event – Think­ing with­out the box: dis­rup­tion, tech­nol­ogy and FDI, will be held on 25th Oc­to­ber at the In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Arena Con­fer­ence Cen­tre. To reg­is­ter and find more in­for­ma­tion visit www.ey­mal­taat­trac­tive­

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