Our Goal Is to Make Ukrainians Produce Excellent Software for the Whole World: Anton Trubnikov, President at LITSLINK Our Goal Is to Make Ukrainians Produce Excellent Software for the Whole World: Anton Trubnikov, President at LITSLINK

How much data is required for a company to apply Big Data efficiently? Why should small and medium businesses work with off-the-shelf solutions rather than develop their own products from scratch? How to combat the personnel deficiency in the AI sector? These issues were revealed at AI Conference Kyiv by Anton Trubnikov, President at LITSLINK.

Anton is a software development and tech consulting specialist.

He is the founder of several server and product companies as well as a Member Board of Directors at ZERO Cognitive Systems that provides breakthrough AI solutions for large and medium businesses.

The expert spoke at AI Conference Kyiv that took place on June 4. Within his presentation, the speaker talked about opportunities for Big Data and AI integration. As part of the round table, he shared his view about the efficiency of business growth using AI, the Internet of Things, and automation.

Interview: AI Conference Kyiv (AICK)
Respondent: Anton Trubnikov (A.T.)

AICK: What does LITSLINK focus on? What projects does the company implement?

A.T.: Our company focuses on different aspects: we establish startups, develop customized software across the globe, create educational programs, advise small and medium businesses on software and modern technology aspects. In brief, we are engaged in a wide range of cutting-edge technologies.

As of today, our company has implemented more than 250 small and medium software products. For example, MUSH, asocial network for mothers and pregnant women in the UK, which was honored with a positive feedback and recognized at the highest level. We also have experience in various robotic projects, AI-based email service for law firms, and many other things.

AICK: Your company has its own museum. Tell us about it in detail.

A.T.: Our Software & Computer Museum is located in Kyiv and Kharkiv. It works six days a week. The entry is free of charge!

The museum features free courses on computer competence theory and smartphone usage for the older generation. We go out of our way to make Ukrainians be well-versed in PCs and able to earn money on the Internet. It is our social program! We believe and know that people of any age can be useful in Ukraine’s up-to-date IT industry.

AICK: How deep is the interest of Ukrainian businesses in the AI integration?

А.Т.: Nowadays, Ukrainian enterprises are primarily interested in surviving on the market. When the country has certain case studies and a company that has managed to become a leader in terms of the integration of AI or any other advanced technologies, the interest in these solutions will grow.

It is referred to PrivatBank. It was the first to design a high-quality and user-friendly banking software for Ukrainians, which rapidly turned the facility into the leader. Besides, AI was not an essential factor in such a success. Due to this software, the financial company has gained the upper hand over 5 years. Thus, each bank either compares its software with PrivatBank solutions or dreams of receiving the same SW.

If the similar situation happens using AI technologies with the obvious effect for businesses in sales, healthcare, transport, and other niche, all people will appreciate advantages of this solution and will desire to utilize it. They will try to do something then. Some of them will succeed and others not. It will be an excellent case study for the increasing amount of companies in case of success.

AICK: Which company does offer the best range of AI business solutions?

А.Т.: In my private opinion, it is Amazon. This company was established simultaneously with Google. However, it did not dominate a good while. It started rapidly advancing only in the late noughties mostly because of smart algorithms of predicting the consumer demand for goods.

Netflix also helped AI to gain and keep the lead, while Facebook would earn much less profit without its latest AI features (obvious and hidden ones).

From the perspective of tools for tiny, small, and medium businesses, Amazon is a solid leader! It has created and is upgrading the mostbreakthrough package of AI mini solutions that can be immediately integrated into business in approximately 30 minutes of settings. It’s quite convenient. Any company has a choice: to spend dozens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, months and years, on its own development or to test off-the-shelf specialized products able to surprise tiny and small Ukrainian enterprises with their possibilities in 30 minutes. Amazon provides the widest spectrum of these solutions.

AICK: What tasks can be solved using Big Data?

А.Т.: Big Data allows to solve a huge variety of tasks. The main thing is to adopt this technology. Nevertheless, prior to applying it, the company has to figure out whether it has enough data. It means that the company should have at least 1 million or preferably 10 million iterations of the same actions. For example, 10 million purchases, 10 million requests and answers, 10 million comments, or 10 million dialogues.

For instance, a reporter has collected 10 million interviews preferably dedicated to one topic. We select one million top materials out of this list (the so-called pure data), optimize them, and can try to create a robotic journalist based on the given information that will be as good as a person in interviewing. But when the variation of questions, answers, and subjects is large, we need 100 million data and have to select 10-15 million pure data out of them in order to prepare the neural network training. Few companies in Ukraine have the necessary volume of pure data (i.e. structured, verified and capable to train a neural network data).

So, what to do in case of the lack or absence of data? The solution is services by top companies (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.). These services will be most probably useful, or at least informative, for business purposes without big data :)

I guess that everyone will soon apply various microservices by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, as well as LITSLINK’s solutions based on them (laughing). Well, if you do not have big data, don’t worry: you can produce synthetic data for training the neural network.

Considering this example, we face different questions: how it functions, whether to implement this concept, or it is better to pay money to a real interviewer. The company should realize whether it needs this step and how profitable it will be from the perspective of finances. The majority of talks about AI is a complete buzzword for blowing hot air. One can invest several million dollars and years of elaborations in an AI robot from scratch, but it will perform work previously executed by people at lower wages and better. At the same time, we can and should automate any routine, large, required, and repetition work using AI based on proper big data.

AICK: Which Ukrainian companies are already applying big data?

А.Т.: The best-known and successful ones include Ring Grammarly, People.ai, as well as representative offices of major companies and numerous startups.

AICK: How can small and medium businesses use AI solutions? Does it make sense for small companies to create their own solutions or is it better to choose off-the-shelf elaborations?

A.T.: If a company has at least $1million dollars or a year for development, it can try to create something, but this will anyway involve existing top solutions.

I believe that tiny, small and medium Ukrainian enterprises have to exploit available AI solutions and analyze whether they are helpful or not.

Small companies should cooperate with research centers. Such specialists can inform them that Amazon, Microsoft, People.ai, or any other company has launched a new service allowing, for example, to increase sales conversion by 20% given at least 5000 customers. One can buy the service for $100 per month, add its database there, and begin to operate. This approach can eventually yield results, as it is faster and cheaper.

Moreover, companies have to constantly investigate the newest and relevant methods, products, startups, SDKs, and APIs entering the market, or, what is better, hire a software consultant.

Let’s examine IBM Watson. It is fruitful in certain cases. On the other hand, it requires engineers, business analysts, and researchers. Its exploitation will be cheaper than your own development from scratch. The development of their own solutions for small and medium businesses is Utopia. It is like to build a spaceship. You can start and will fail to end.

AICK: What should companies aimed at adopting new technologies start with?

А.Т.: They should advise specialists, such as LITSLINK, for instance (laughing).

In general, the approach to technology integration can be compared to treatment. There are two ways: call and consult a doctor, or read Wikipedia about this disease and get treatment on your own. If business integrates software solutions independently, it is a self-treatment. It can be either efficient or not, or even harmful.

Companies efficiently applying AI will run away competitors pretty well.

AICK: What challenges can companies face during technology adoption?

А.Т.: The first challenge is decision making and analytics: whether to integrate technology, how productive it can be. The second challenge is budget, and the third one is the absence of clear guarantees even from skillful specialists.

As to the third point, it is significant to realize that professionals hardly ever give a guarantee. For instance, cooking a new dish, the chef won’t guarantee that you will like it. They can only hope for this.

If the company ensures you something, it is either a cut-and-dried solution that has proven itself previously or a fraud.

AICK: Today, we can see the staff shortage in the AI industry. How to solve this problem?

А.Т.: Diversification can solve this problem. One should stop searching for data scientists conducting a variety of objectives. Mathematicians, programmers, analysts, researchers: it should be different specialists who work in team and who are seasoned professionals.

Competent employees with a solid set of Data Science skills are quite valuable. They are very few in number and quite difficult to find. They are lured away by large corporations. Therefore, it is easier to buy a service and address specialized companies. Building a team is a challenging, expensive, and risky process.

Our company consists of specialists from Ukraine. Our goal is to make Ukrainians produce excellent software for the whole world.

AICK: You made a presentation at AI Conference Kyiv and participated in the round table. Please share your impressions of the event.

А.Т.: The conference was interesting. It gathered a lot of people. Guests were informed. They tried to realize everything. Hope they found it beneficial. The audience was engaged. I was happy to introduce my perspective and experience.

Thanks for your attention!

Discover more about the integration and application of artificial intelligence in businesses on AI Conference Kyiv.

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