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The digital landscape is evolving rapidly and so do the updates here. In this section, you can find the latest information on digital skills and jobs as well as upcoming events.

The News section highlights key updates on digital skills such as new initiatives and projects being rolled out, policy developments on the digital agenda, digital trends, etc. You can also see relevant digital up and re-skilling opportunities or understand how you or your organisation might be impacted.

The Events section showcases upcoming events related to digital skills and jobs, at both EU and national levels. These events may present networking, projects, or funding opportunities that you may find interesting to get involved in.

Keep yourself up to date with the digital transition and its impact.

News

TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL IT PERSONALITIES IN BULGARIA

By Robotics, Audience, Software engineering, Technology, Web development, Computing, Mobile apps, Telecommunications, Blockchain, Digital marketing, Big data, 5G & WiFi, Microelectronics, Cybersecurity, For all, IoT, For the workforce, AI & ML, For ICT professionals, AR & VR, NEWS
TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONALITIES IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BULGARIA

26.04.2023 |

“Top 100 Most Influential IT Personalities in Bulgaria” is Career Show’s annual index honoring individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of the IT industry in Bulgaria and serve as examples of best practices and high professionalism!

Good achievements deserve recognition!

The index “Top 100 Most Influential IT Personalities in Bulgaria” was created in order to reward IT professionals for their dedicated work and the efforts they put into the development of the IT industry in Bulgaria!

The winners are representatives of the following groups👇👇👇

  • CEO of a technology company
  • IT startup founders
  • Team leaders
  • IT Innovators / Influencers
  • IT professionals
  • Speakers
  • Trainers

See the IT personalities who inspire and serve as examples of best practices and high professionalism in the field here.

Methodology

The public voting list includes all nominations submitted during the nomination period (20-31.03.2023) as well as those nominated during the late nomination period (03-18.04.2023).

Career Show are contacting nominees with details of their nomination and next steps.

Through the public vote, everyone has the opportunity to select up to 10 people from the list that they consider to be exemplary in the field of information technology in Bulgaria.

Public voting period: 03-18.04.2023

The top 100 index is based on the votes received.

In the event of a tie, the person with the most nominations takes precedence.

The results are published in alphabetical order after the close of public voting.

For more details click here.

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DIGITAL SME LAUNCHES “PRESENT YOUR BUSINESS”

By Software engineering, Web development, Audience, Mobile apps, Technology, Blockchain, Computing, Big data, Telecommunications, Microelectronics, Cybersecurity, For all, IoT, For the workforce, AI & ML, For ICT professionals, Basic digital skills, Robotics, NEWS
DIGITAL SME LAUNCHES “PRESENT YOUR BUSINESS”

26.04.2023 |

A series of networking opportunities to boost Europe’s digital sovereignty 

  • “Present Your Business” highlights and showcases Europe-led innovation
  • The series of events offers a platform for digital enablers to team up and scale their businesses
  • The kick-off event will take place on 3rd of May 2023, online, featuring presentation of multiple technological solutions

The “Present Your Business” series is a platform designed to highlight the potential of European SMEs and start-ups as innovation’s drivers.

To unlock the potential of innovative companies, this series of events promotes the matching of digital solutions, fostering their competitiveness. The series will create synergies and develop digital solutions thereby nurturing an effective framework on how to adequately boost European digital sovereignty.

The initiative will be the space where innovators can present their digital solutions and partner up with fellow SMEs and start-ups to enable digital transformation of their business model. This event series will give the floor every month to five selected companies, displaying their businesses in ten minutes maximum each.

The European digital market is rapidly evolving, and SMEs are the de facto champions of innovation. Digital transformation of business is a priority of the EU´s Digital Decade. The Digital Decade objective for 2030 concerning technological uptake is for at least 75% of companies to use cloud, AI or Big Data.

Within this objective, the EU wants to ensure that more than 90% of SMEs have at least a basic level of digital intensity. With these goals in mind, “Present Your Business” is an excellent opportunity to showcase the potential of digital SMEs and start-ups and create a collaborative environment among them, unlocking opportunities to foster SMEs’ digital intensity and maximizing Europe´s innovation capacity.

“We are excited to launch the “Present Your Business” events’ series, which will bring together innovative SMEs from across Europe. By creating a platform where SMEs can collaborate, our ambition is to unlock the full potential of the digital solutions available in the European market. ”Present Your Business” will foster opportunities for SMEs and start-ups to partner up and maximise the benefits of the digital solutions available in the European market to drive Europe towards the twin transition” said DIGITAL SME’s Secretary-General Sebastiano Toffaletti.

The first session of “Present Your Business” will take place on 3 May 2023, from 14:30 to 15:30 CEST, following an online format.

Registration is now open for companies wishing to present their businesses, as well as for participants at this link

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WHICH TECH JOBS ARE MOST AT RISK FROM CHATGPT?

By Audience, Technology, Digital marketing, AI & ML, Software engineering, Web development, For all, For the workforce, For ICT professionals, NEWS
WHICH TECH JOBS ARE MOST AT RISK FROM CHATGPT?

26.04.2023 |

As if there weren’t enough fears about layoffs in the tech industry, suddenly ChatGPT is added to the list of things workers have to worry about. The artificial intelligence-based chatbot is permeating more and more of the workplace as technology evolves at a rapid pace, CNBC reports.

Since the beginning of this year, the tech industry has already cut 5% more jobs than it did in all of 2022, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The rate of layoffs is on pace to surpass the job losses of 2001, the worst year for the tech sector job market due to the dotcom crash.

As layoffs continue to increase, workers not only fear being laid off, they fear being replaced entirely. A recent Goldman Sachs report found that 300 million jobs worldwide are affected by AI and automation.

ChatGPT and AI should not cause fear among employees because these tools will help people and companies work more efficiently,” according to Sultan Saidov, co-founder and president of Beamery, a global human capital management software-as-a-service company that has its own GPT, or generative pre-training transformer, called TalentGPT.

“It is already estimated that 300 million jobs will be affected by AI and automation,” says Saidov. “The question is: does that mean these people will switch or lose their jobs? I think in many cases it will change rather than be lost.”

ChatGPT is a kind of GPT tool that uses learning models to generate human responses, and Saidov says GPT technology can help workers do more than just make calls. Especially in the tech industry, certain jobs will be affected more than others.

Creative artists and designers need to acquire AI skills

Saidov points to creatives in the tech industry, such as designers, video game makers, photographers, and those who create digital images, as those whose jobs are unlikely to be completely eradicated. This will help those roles create more and get their work done faster, he said.

If you look back at the industrial revolution, when automation suddenly came to agriculture, did that mean fewer people would be doing certain jobs in agriculture?” said Saidov. “Definitely, because you wouldn’t need as many people in the field, but it just means the same number of people going to different jobs.”

Just like similar trends in history, creative jobs will be in demand following the widespread incorporation of generative AI and other AI technologies in the workplace.

“With video game creators, if the number of games made globally doesn’t change from year to year, you’re probably going to need fewer game designers,” Saidov said. “But if you can create more as a company, then this technology will just increase the number of games you’ll be able to make.”

Software developers and engineers will be affected

It’s not fair to say that GPT will completely eliminate jobs like developers and engineers,” says Sameer Penakalapathy, CEO of Ceipal, an AI-powered talent acquisition platform.

But while those jobs will still exist, their tasks and responsibilities will likely be diminished by GPT and generative AI.

An important distinction needs to be made between GPT specifically and generative AI more broadly when it comes to the job market, according to Penakalapathy. A GPT is a mathematical or statistical model designed to study patterns and provide results. But other forms of generative AI can go further, reconstructing different outcomes based on patterns and learning and almost mirroring the human brain, he says.

As an example, he gives that if you look at software developers, engineers and testers, GPT can generate code in a matter of seconds, giving software users and customers exactly what they need without relaying needs, adaptations and adjustments to the development team. GPT can do the work of a coder or tester instantly, instead of the days or weeks it might take a human to generate the same thing, he says.

Generative AI can impact software engineers more broadly, and devops (development and operations) engineers in particular, Penakalapathy says – from developing code to deploying, conducting maintenance and making updates in software development. In this broader set of tasks, generative AI can mimic what an engineer would do through the development cycle.

While development and engineering roles are quickly adapting to these tools in the workplace, Penakalapathy says it will be impossible for the tools to completely replace humans. More likely, we’ll see a reduction in the number of developers and engineers needed to create a piece of software.

Whether it’s a piece of code you’re writing, whether you’re testing how users interact with your software, or whether you’re designing software and choosing certain colors from a color palette, you’re always going to need someone, a human, to help in the process,” Penakalapathy said.

Those working with knowledge can benefit from ChatGPT

Although GPT and AI will have a strong impact on more roles than others, the inclusion of these tools will affect every knowledge worker, commonly referred to as anyone who uses or processes information in their job, according to Michael Chui, a partner at McKinsey Global Institute.

These technologies make it possible to create first drafts very quickly, of all sorts of different things, whether it’s writing, generating computer code, creating images, video and music,” Chui said. “You can imagine that almost any knowledge professional could benefit from this technology, and certainly the technology provides speed with those kinds of capabilities.”

A recent study by OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, found that approximately 80% of the U.S. workforce could use at least 10% of their work tasks affected by the introduction of learning models into GPT technology, while approximately 19% of workers could see 50% of their tasks affected.

Chewie says that workers today can’t remember a time when they didn’t have tools like Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word, so somehow we can predict that workers in the future won’t be able to imagine a world of work without AI and GPT tools.

For further information click here.

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WEBIT SUMMER EDITION – A FUTURE TO SHARE

By Software engineering, Blockchain, Audience, Big data, Technology, Microelectronics, Computing, For all, 5G & WiFi, In education, Cybersecurity, For the workforce, IoT, For ICT professionals, AI & ML, AR & VR, Robotics, NEWS
WEBIT SUMMER EDITION - A FUTURE TO SHARE

26.04.2023 |

Webit Impact Forum is on June 28 at the National Palace of Culture and focuses on the high-tech changes that are taking place in the world around us

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a reality and is beginning to transform many industries and professions. Some people worry that AI will replace their jobs, but it is more likely that AI will change the nature of work, creating new opportunities. But one of the most important questions is what will the consequences be for our society?

The opportunities that AI offers and how we can use these technologies to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges will be discussed at the Webit Impact Forum.

The latest trends and developments in areas such as:

  • the future of work
  • FinTech
  • digital media
  • the metaverse
  • e-commerce
  • healthcare and longevity
  • energy
  • blockchain
  • defence and cyber security

You’ll have the opportunity to hear some of the brightest minds in the industry present new ideas and opportunities, while providing tips for adapting to the rapidly changing world around us.

The Webit Impact Forum is for anyone looking to adapt to the new world of humans and machines co-existing. The event is open to anyone who wants to be at the forefront of innovation and learn how to use technology to better the world.

Alongside the main stage conference, Webit is hosting a special investor-only event, InvestX, which will focus on the CEE region in 2023.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the Webit Impact Forum on 28 June at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. Registration to purchase tickets is open on the Webit website.

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GOOGLE REVEALED WHAT SUPERCOMPUTERS THEY ARE USING FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

By Audience, Technology, AI & ML, Software engineering, Big data, For the workforce, For ICT professionals, NEWS
GOOGLE REVEALED WHAT SUPERCOMPUTERS THEY ARE USING FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

26.04.2023 |

Google has released new details about the supercomputers it uses to train its artificial intelligence models. The tech company announced that the systems are both faster and more energy efficient than comparable systems from Nvidia Corp.

The company designs its own custom chip called the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU). It uses these chips for more than 90% of the company’s work in training artificial intelligence – the process of feeding data through models – to make them useful in tasks such as answering queries with human text or generating images.

TPU is now in its fourth generation. On Tuesday, Google published a research paper describing how it connected more than 4,000 chips in a supercomputer using its own custom-designed optical switches to help connect individual machines.

Improving these connections has become a key point of competition between companies building AI supercomputers as the so-called big language models that power technologies such as Google’s Bard or OpenAI’s ChatGPT have grown in size, meaning they are too big to store on a single chip.

Instead, the models are split between thousands of chips, which then have to work together for weeks or more to train the model. Google’s PaLM – the largest publicly revealed language model to date – was trained by splitting it across two supercomputers with 4,000 chips over 50 days.

Google said its supercomputers make it easier to reconfigure the connections between the chips on the fly, helping to avoid performance-boosting tuning issues.

“Circuit switching makes it easier to route around faulty components,” wrote Google contributor Norm Jupy and Google Distinguished Engineer David Patterson in a blog post about the system. “This flexibility even allows us to change the topology of the supercomputer link to speed up the performance of the ML (machine learning) model.”

Although Google is only now releasing details of its supercomputer, it has been online at the company since 2020 in a data center in Oklahoma. Google said the startup Midjourney has used the system to train its model, which generates crisp images after being given a few words of text.

In the document, Google says that for systems of comparable size, its chips are up to 1.7 times faster and 1.9 times more power efficient than a system based on Nvidia’s A100 chip, which came to market around the same time as the fourth-generation TPU.

An Nvidia spokesman declined to comment.

Google said it wasn’t comparing its fourth-generation to Nvidia’s current flagship H100 chip because the H100 came to market after Google’s chip and is made with newer technology.

The tech company has hinted that it is working on a new TPU that will compete with Nvidia’s H100, but did not provide details, with Jupy telling Reuters that Google has a “robust line of future chips”.

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WHICH TECHNOLOGIES ARE THE FUTURE OF CYBERSECURITY

By Cybersecurity, AI & ML, Basic digital skills, Robotics, Software engineering, Blockchain, Big data, Microelectronics, Audience, For all, Technology, For ICT professionals, Computing, NEWS
WHICH TECHNOLOGIES ARE THE FUTURE OF CYBERSECURITY

25.04.2023 |

The struggle for supremacy between defenders and hackers involves the use of artificial intelligence, behavioural analysis and blockchain

Hackers and cyber defense experts are battling for supremacy using the latest technologies. Who will prevail depends on a deeper understanding of these innovations and their successful integration into cybersecurity. “”Capital”” has selected six technologies that are the future of cybersecurity.

Artificial intelligence and machine self-learning

Artificial intelligence is the trendiest buzz phrase of late and has huge applications in the cybersecurity sphere. In a sense, it also works somewhat like two-factor authentication. It works by confirming the user’s identity based on various parameters. AI is helpful if we add different layers of information and authentication to these parameters for the technology to analyze. Separately, AI is at the heart of building automated security systems, language processing, facial recognition and automatically stopping cyber attacks. At the same time, AI has been used by hackers to develop malware and automated breaches. AI is used by them to build fake images, profiles and videos that show things that never happened. Malicious actors can use machine self-learning for breakthroughs by providing incorrect data that confuses computer systems. Meanwhile, on the other side are cybersecurity professionals who use machine self-learning to examine information such as logins, transactions and communications in real time to identify potential threats.

Behavioural analysis

In the age of social sharing, analysing user behaviour online has been used to target internet ads to the right audience. But behavioral analysis is also increasingly applicable to the development of advanced cybersecurity technologies. Through this technology, certain patterns in system and network activities can be identified to prevent future threats. With the help of huge volumes of unfiltered data, professionals can use behavior-based tools, algorithms, and machine self-learning to determine what is normal behavior for everyday users and what is not. Such may be the increased transfer of data from a particular user device that signals a possible cybersecurity issue. Behavioral analytics has mostly been used in network activity, but its application in consumer devices is growing.

Built-in hardware authentication

Having a PIN and a password has long been insufficient to provide reliable protection for any device. Technologies such as embedded authenticators to confirm user identity are increasingly common. One of the most active in this area is Intel with its vPro chips, which are integrated into the hardware itself and use several authentication methods. This type of technology is particularly useful in the era of IoT devices, the number of which is steadily growing and so is the need for hardware authentication. According to a study by consultancy ABI Research, shipments of hardware authentication tools will reach 5.3 billion units by 2024.

Quantum computers

Although we’re still talking about them in the future tense, quantum computers can perform certain types of calculations far more efficiently than classical computers. For this reason, they pose a significant threat to current cryptographic security systems. Quantum computing has the potential to unlock secrets ranging from users’ personal finances to the defence strategy of entire countries. Thus, in time, hackers and states will be able to break current cryptographic protocols. For this reason, there is also a need for cybersecurity with quantum computers. The big players in the sector, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and Intel, are developing their own quantum computers, and their practical application is expected in at least a decade.

Blockchain cybersecurity

There is no doubt that blockchain can change the way we use the internet. By creating a decentralized system, the technology can provide a more secure and efficient way to manage digital information. It works based on recognition between the two parties to a transaction. By creating a record that cannot be altered and is fully encrypted, blockchain helps prevent fraud and malicious activity. Privacy issues can also be addressed in blockchain by anonymizing personal data and using permissions to prevent access.

Zero Trust model

As its name states (zero trust), this type of cybersecurity is based on the idea that the network is already compromised. Zero Trust says that any component of a computer or network system cannot be trusted, including the people who run it. Therefore, measures must be put in place to make systems and their components work properly, usually in a model with continuous checks and authentication. Which includes analysis of business-critical data and the flow of that information and automated monitoring.

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HOW TO MODERNISE YOUR CYBER RECOVERY STRATEGY IN FIVE STEPS

By Technology, Cybersecurity, For all, For the workforce, For ICT professionals, Audience, NEWS
HOW TO MODERNISE YOUR CYBER RECOVERY STRATEGY IN FIVE STEPS

25.04.2023 |

Across industries and among organisations of all sizes, cyber attacks are multiplying. Cyber Security Ventures estimates that a cyber or ransomware malware attack occurs every 11 seconds. Attacks are almost continuous, and the associated economic costs are enormous. According to a report on the subject, cyberattacks are expected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

As businesses become increasingly aware of the cybersecurity risks that threaten their critical operations, IT security has become a particularly important part of corporate digital strategy. However, many organizations lack confidence in their data protection solutions. Dell Technologies’ 2022 Global Data Protection Index reports that cyberattacks accounted for 48% of all breach attempts last year (up from 37% in 2021), ranking first among all other causes of data breaches.

The survey also reveals that 85% of organizations using multiple vendors for data protection see a benefit from reducing their number of vendors. Furthermore, it reveals that organizations using a single vendor for data protection incurred 34% less in costs to recover from cyberattacks or other cyber incidents than those using multiple vendors. To create a more cyber-resilient approach to data protection, companies can modernize and automate their recovery and business continuity strategies and leverage the latest intelligent tools to detect and protect against cyber threats.

Here are five components of a proven and modern cyber recovery strategy:

1. Automated data warehouses

Cyber resilience cannot be achieved without one key component – the data repository for recovery from cyber attacks. It offers multiple layers of protection, providing resilience against cyber attacks even from an insider threat. It creates an additional copy of critical data away from the attack surface by physically isolating it in one secure part of the data center and requiring separate security credentials and multi-factor authentication for access. Additional precautions include automated network partitioning and isolation and the removal of management interfaces that could be compromised. If a cyberattack occurs, you can quickly identify a clean copy of your data, restore your critical systems and get your business back up and running.

Data repositories are used to great effect among public and private sector organisations. These companies often use them to securely store updated copies of their most critical data and applications. If a ransomware or data destruction attack affects data and applications in core production environments, threat actors still cannot access the contents of the data warehouse. After the attack, as part of the incident response and recovery process, clean copies of data and applications stored in the data warehouse are used to restore the production environment.

2. Data isolation and management

Similarly, providing an isolated data center environment that is physically separated from corporate and backup networks and restricted to users other than those with appropriate access permissions represents another method of providing an impenetrable cyber recovery strategy. By isolating critical data, identifying suspicious activity, and expediting data recovery, enterprises can more easily achieve cyber resiliency with this approach.

3. Intelligent analysis and tools

In addition, machine learning and full content indexing with powerful analytics within repository safety represent effective threat detection tools. This also includes automated integrity checks to determine if data has been impacted by malware and tools to aid remediation if necessary.

4. Recovery and Remediation

If an incident has indeed occurred, remediation consists of workflows and tools that perform dynamic data recovery to bring business-critical systems back online quickly and with confidence. This includes a comprehensive data protection methodology, as well as performing damage assessments and computer forensics to provide the organization with an assured and most reliable path to restore business-critical systems.

5. Solution planning and design

Finally, expert guidance and services can help organizations determine which business-critical systems need protection and can create dependency maps for related applications and services, as well as the infrastructure needed to recover them. For example, Zero Trust is a cybersecurity model that changes the way organizations approach security from relying solely on perimeter protection to a proactive strategy that only allows pre-approved activities across ecosystems and data highways. It allows organizations to better align their cybersecurity strategies across the data center, cloud and perimeter. Such processes also generate remediation requirements and design alternatives while identifying the technologies to analyze, host and protect data along with a business case and deployment schedule.

Cyber resilience requires a layered approach to cybersecurity. In addition to advanced threat protection and security training for employees, a strong cyber recovery strategy can strengthen cyber resiliency by protecting backup systems from failure and enabling rapid recovery of business-critical systems, applications and operations after an attack. In short, Cyber Resiliency is a strategy that incorporates people, processes and technology into a holistic framework that protects an entire business, organization or entity. This strategy allows businesses to prepare for and recover quickly from disruptions caused by cyber attacks.

Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery solutions enable cyber resilience by protecting and isolating critical data from ransomware and other cyber threats. This Dell solution uses machine learning to identify suspicious activity and enable recovery of known good data and resume normal business operations quickly and with confidence.

PowerProtect Cyber Recovery protects data and provides recovery across on-premises and multiple cloud environments including AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

Further information here.

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VENTURE CAPITAL IS (STILL) IN LOVE WITH THE FINTECH INDUSTRY

By Software engineering, Mobile apps, Big data, Audience, For all, Technology, For the workforce, Computing, For ICT professionals, Telecommunications, 5G & WiFi, IoT, AI & ML, Basic digital skills, NEWS
VENTURE CAPITAL IS (STILL) IN LOVE WITH THE FINTECH INDUSTRY

24.04.2023 |

Even with significantly lower valuations than the market, venture investors continue to focus on fintech.

You will be hard pressed to find a large venture capital fund, no matter in the world or in Bulgaria, that is not interested in financial technology companies. Interest is actually an understatement – over the past decade, many funds have put fintech companies at the very center of their strategies and poured in generous investments at generous valuations. This has led to a glut in the market in some respects – for example, the sheer number of portfolios that are likely to go through a consolidation phase or simply bankrupt many of them.

Venture capital interest in fintech companies is still there, but it is much more specialised. Investment is still generous because promising companies need significant financial resources to enter the industry. Valuations, on the other hand, have experienced a dramatic correction, in many cases down more than 50%. Now a correction is expected because the market has driven down the value of almost all companies by equal weight, without taking into account that some are simply better and more valuable than others.

All these features are important given the two different situations for venture capital funds around the world and in Bulgaria. While globally the most important news for funds is central banks raising interest rates – the end of so-called free money, in Bulgaria venture capital is mostly backed by public funds, and many have little time to invest their remaining money under mandate. This does not mean that Bulgarian funds are not interested in what is happening in international markets, but it does mean that they have less fear about whether there will be more money to invest after the end of their current mandates.

“Fintech in general is an industry with a big market because it was created by previous players like banks and insurers. The market is already there, it’s huge and what fintech companies are doing is disrupting or improving models”

Alexander Terziiski

The reason for the interest in the fintech industry

“Fintech is still one of the verticals that has the highest volume of investments and the most advanced readiness for underwriting,” says Alexander Terziyski, partner at venture capital fund NV3 (the third NEVEQ fund). According to him, there are several reasons for venture capital interest in fintech. The first and most important factor is that companies in the sector are automatically in a long-established market of enormous size.

“Fintech in general is an industry with a large market because it was created by previous players like banks and insurers. The market is already there, it’s huge and what fintech companies are doing is disrupting or improving models. They enter it much more easily because they are simply attacking existing markets. Nobody is creating something new, but they are providing an innovative solution to an existing problem,” says Terziiski.

This foundation leads to the logical corollary – fintech companies can grow extremely fast because they don’t have to create a market out of nothing. According to Terziiski, many companies grow even just because the overall market grows, i.e. the wave lifts all boats. “Given the point we are at, it makes a lot of sense to pour money into fintech companies,” he adds.

Another reason for funds’ interest in the fintech industry is that it is full of good founders and teams, many of whom come from the traditional financial sector and have seen up close what can be optimized. For funds, teams are a particularly important part of their decision whether to invest in a company, and when it comes to idea-level startups, the team is basically the entire company.

Read more here.

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HOW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COULD RESHAPE THE VIDEO GAME SECTOR

By Audience, Technology, AI & ML, AR & VR, For all, For the workforce, For ICT professionals, NEWS
HOW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COULD RESHAPE THE VIDEO GAME SECTOR

24.03.2023 |

Game creation is particularly labour-intensive – and particularly ripe for automation

Displaying brightly coloured objects around a screen at high speed is not what computer CPUs are designed for. And so arcade machine manufacturers invented the graphics processing unit (GPU), a set of circuits for processing video game visuals alongside the work done by the central processing unit. The GPU’s ability to speed up complex tasks has since found wider applications: video editing, cryptocurrency mining and, more recently, artificial intelligence (AI) learning.

AI is now changing the industry that helped create it. Any part of entertainment can be affected by generative AI, which learns the creation of text, images, audio or video to achieve new results from the same. But the games business will change the most, says venture capital (VC) firm Andreessen Horowitz. The interactivity of games demands that they be filled with labor-intensive designed content: think 30 square miles of landscape or 60 hours of music in the cowboy adventure Red Dead Redemption 2. Bringing in artificial intelligence assistants to produce it can dramatically shrink timelines and budgets.

The new AI tricks

Game developers showed off their latest AI tricks at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last month. Ubisoft, the French developer of blockbusters like Assassin’s Creed, unveiled Ghostwriter, a tool that generates dialogue for in-game characters. Roblox, an American platform for DIY games, released one that draws material from text commands, like “stained glass” and an auto-completion assistant for programmers. A few weeks earlier, Straight4 Studios previewed a new driving game, gtr Revival, with custom racing commentary provided by AI.

The AI represents “an explosion of possibilities,” according to Steve Collins, tech head at King, which made Candy Crush Saga, a hit mobile game. King, which last year bought artificial intelligence firm Peltarion, uses AI to measure the difficulty of levels. “It’s like having a million players at your disposal,” Collins says. This year, Electronic Arts, another big game maker, and Google were granted patents to use AI in game testing. Unity, a game development “engine,” plans a marketplace for developers to trade AI tools. Danny Lange, Unity’s head of AI, hopes this will “put developers of all resource levels on a more equal playing field”.

Easier game creation

Creating a game is now easier than it used to be – nearly 13 thousand titles were published on the Steam platform last year, almost double the number from 2017. Games may soon resemble the music and video industry, where most new content on Spotify or YouTube is user-generated. One game studio executive predicts that small businesses will be the quickest to figure out what new genres are made possible by AI. Last month, Raja Koduri, an Intel executive, left the chipmaker to found an AI gaming startup.

Don’t forget the big studios. If they manage to release half a dozen high-quality titles a year instead of two, it could weaken the blockbuster-focused nature of their business, says Josh Chapman of Konvoy, a venture capital firm focused on games. A world with more choices also favors those with big marketing budgets. And the giants may have better answers to the growing copyright questions surrounding AI. If generative models need to be trained on data that the developer has rights to, those with large back catalogs will be in a better position than startups. Trent Caniuga, an artist who has worked on games like Fortnite, said last month that several clients have updated their contracts to ban AI-generated art.

If lawyers don’t step in, unions might. The studios diplomatically refer to AI assistants as “co-pilots,” not human replacements. But workers aren’t taking any chances. The Writers Guild of America, whose members include game writers, said in March that “plagiarism is a feature of the AI process.” Hollywood is threatening strikes. Upset creators may also press pause in the games business.

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THE RELATIONS BETWEEN BULGARIAN AND AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES ARE AT A VERY HIGH LEVEL

By For ICT professionals, AI & ML, AR & VR, Robotics, Software engineering, Audience, Web development, Technology, Mobile apps, Computing, Big data, Telecommunications, Microelectronics, 5G & WiFi, For all, Cybersecurity, For the workforce, IoT, NEWS
THE RELATIONS BETWEEN BULGARIAN AND AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES ARE AT A VERY HIGH LEVEL

14.03.2023 |

As far as high-tech industries are concerned, the US and Bulgaria are not at opposite ends of the world, but are very close countries. We have a very fast pace of development of the software sector in Bulgaria, and our country has the image of a quality software destination. All of this, together with the perfect relations between the American Chamber of Commerce and the high-tech associations in Bulgaria, are very good prerequisites for even better cooperation.

This message was expressed by Dobroslav Dimitrov, Chairman of the Board of BASCOM and BRAIT, and Victor Bilyanski, member of the Board of BASCOM during the Explore U.S. Tech Webinar. It was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham Bulgaria) together with the Executive Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (EAPME) and in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASCOM).

Referring to the experience of his company ScaleFocus, Victor Bilyanski noted some best practices for working in the US market. According to him, in order to succeed in the US, it is important to first solve a specific customer problem and build trust. “However, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe that can be applied to all types of businesses. Each business brings its own specifics. It is also important at what stage of development the company providing the product or service is itself. For start-ups, it is usually a little more difficult because it is not clear whether they can generate enough added value for their potential customers, whether they have references and whether they can be sustainable over time. For companies that are fully localised in Bulgaria it is even harder because they have to be much better than their competitors in the US, noted Victor Bilyanski.

However, the distance in processes is shortening significantly with the artificial intelligence boom we have seen recently. According to Dobroslav Dimitrov, the penetration of artificial intelligence at all levels in the business processes of companies enables an equal start in their development and strengthens the opportunities for partnership and quality exchange of experience.

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE -THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS UNVEILED

By For ICT professionals, Audience, Technology, AI & ML, For all, For the workforce, NEWS
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE -THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS UNVEILED

24.01.2023 |

With artificial intelligence, any IT company can increase its productivity by 2 to 5 times in the next year. A few days ago, the first event of BASCOM’s Business Tree series took place, which is part of a series of hands-on events where leaders from the technology sector come together to share about the issues and challenges they face.

Marina Shiderov, member of BASCOM’s Board of Directors, and Dobroslav Dimitrov, Chairman of BASCOM’s Board of Directors, CEO and co-founder of one of the largest gaming companies, talk in detail in “Our Day”.

“The initiative is BASCOM’s new practical format for a series of events where leaders from the technology sector meet and talk about all the challenges they face. The idea is for a different format that has real added value through content,” Marina Shiderov points out.

She adds that the topic of artificial intelligence is extremely hot because it gives a new perspective to the IT sector. It’s important for business leaders to have a vision to realign their companies.

“Artificial intelligence is not the topic right now, it is the only topic. Whatever epithets I use, I won’t exaggerate how serious the situation really is. Change will most rapidly come to the IT sector, and accordingly it must react most quickly. But otherwise it concerns all sectors and all professions,” says Dobroslav Dimitrov.

He adds that this technology is available to everyone. ChatGPT alone currently has over 100 million users worldwide. Millions of developers working with these tools are upgrading and if companies don’t keep up with this, they could become highly redundant.

Is it the end of developers’ time? This question is absolutely valid for all professions related to intellectual labor.

“It’s not artificial intelligence we have to worry about, it’s natural intelligence. Because some people who embrace these technologies and start using them will become 10 times more efficient than other people who don’t use them, and will take their jobs accordingly,” says Dobroslav Dimitrov.

Marina Siderov explained that all IT leaders now have a lot of power in their hands because this unlocks a very beautiful and new world.

At the centre of all technology is the human being, but it matters whether they want to be there. If people are going to ignore this change and live without it, they will become highly redundant. Those who use it will be many times better off than those who do not, summarises Dobroslav Dimitrov.

Running AI requires a huge responsibility and has a serious moral aspect. Everybody is now into the IT sector because it is a fundamental and critical sector for the economy.

Dobroslav Dimitrov commented that the super-profits tax is a tax on “super economic stupidity”. The basis of any business is to invest years and work even at a loss and at some point make a profit. To have a high value-added economy means not seizing that value when it appears. And an excess profits tax will hit high value-added industries. This is extremely dangerous for the future of Bulgaria.

“We hold enormous power in our hands right now, but it depends on how we use it. My colleagues and I in the IT sector have a big responsibility on how we are going to deal with this in the most ethical way possible and apply this power in creating good things,” Marina Shiderov added.

More details can be heard in the audio file here.

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INNOVATION ACADEMY 2023

By Mobile apps, Telecommunications, Microelectronics, 5G & WiFi, In education, Cybersecurity, IoT, AI & ML, AR & VR, Basic digital skills, Robotics, Audience, Software engineering, Technology, Web development, Computing, NEWS
INNOVATION ACADEMY 2023

19.04.2023 |

For the tenth year in a row, Innovation Starter’s “Innovation Academy” will be held on June 2nd and 3rd in Sofia Tech Park. The project is dedicated to the development of entrepreneurial skills of students and the financing of their first business ideas. The event will have the character of a hackathon, during which students will present their ideas to an expert jury including investors, lecturers and innovators from different fields.

One of the projects of the participants will receive funding in the amount of 20 thousand BGN, and the winner will receive other prizes, including those with an educational focus. The first three teams will have the opportunity to visit the European institutions in Brussels. An additional 20 thousand BGN from the prize fund will be distributed to other participants at the discretion of the jury.

Anyone wishing to participate in the hackathon must apply by submitting a registration form by the end of May with their team name. Teams eligible to apply must consist of 2 to 5 people, and each participant must be a student.

If approved to participate, the teams will be assigned mentors who will not only advise the participants, but also determine the twenty teams that will reach the finals. In practice, if the mentor considers that the team’s idea is not clear enough or is impractical, the team may not proceed to the third and final phase. At the final stage, a panel of ten academics and ten business experts will determine the winners and the ranking of the competition.

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THE SKILLS NEEDED FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN 2023

By Media literacy, Blockchain, 5G & WiFi, Big data, Cybersecurity, Microelectronics, IoT, For all, AI & ML, For the workforce, AR & VR, For ICT professionals, Basic digital skills, Technology, Robotics, Computing, Software engineering, Telecommunications, Web development, Digital marketing, Mobile apps, NEWS
THE SKILLS NEEDED FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN 2023

05.01.2023 |

 The new year of 2023 has already arrived and we all expect new and better opportunities for personal development and career growth to open up before us. While we have sent a turbulent year filled with challenges, fears of crises and recession, in 2023 we look ahead and strongly hope for greater stability and predictability both economically and in the job market.

To remain competitive in 2023, as in every year before, we need to not only maintain our soft and hard skills, but also upgrade with new knowledge in different areas.

In connection with the new expectations of employers in the rapidly evolving business environment, we share part of an article on the website Karieri.bg, as it details everything we will need for a successful career in 2023.

According to Karieri.bg’s analysis, a balance of knowledge related to various technological platforms, artificial intelligence, software and good digital literacy will be needed for a rapid development. General digital literacy is listed as a top priority for recruiters. It’s everywhere and everyone has some knowledge of it. These days, most professions use a lot of tech tools and employers want to know that their employees will be able to handle them. Digital literacy is defined as a soft skill as it is less related to one specific platform and more to the ability to learn and adapt to new technologies, writes Dilyana Krasimirova in the analysis.

For employers, it is important that employees and job applicants have four key qualities to demonstrate their digital skills:

  • knowledge of existing and most used technologies or platforms;
  • the ability to communicate clearly in an online environment;
  • the ability to present ideas online;
  • managing teams using technology tools.

We can define digital literacy as a person’s ability to use IT and digital technology to find, evaluate, create and communicate information, according to the Karieri.bg article. Most employers consider a candidate to have these qualities if they can conduct thorough online research, which they can then analyze and evaluate, be able to create a range of different digital documents and use digital communication systems effectively.

The full text of the article can be found here.

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IT HIRING SLOWING DOWN?

By Cybersecurity, Microelectronics, IoT, For all, AI & ML, For the workforce, AR & VR, For ICT professionals, Audience, Basic digital skills, Technology, Robotics, Computing, Software engineering, Telecommunications, Web development, Digital marketing, Mobile apps, Media literacy, Blockchain, 5G & WiFi, Big data, NEWS
IT Hiring Slowing down?

28.01.2023 |

 After years of global economic growth led by the technology sector, the first signs of a slowdown in the rise of IT companies appeared in 2022. Post-COVID syndromes related to digitalization of businesses and work from home created new opportunities for technology corporations, leading to a significant increase in demand for specialists. Now that economic growth has slowed significantly and inflation has not yet been tamed, the management of most IT companies are cautious about cost management, and this approach extends to the hiring of new personnel, as seen from the new and higher requirements for employees.

A number of international companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, have cut a significant portion of their staff at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 due to the changed economic and business environment. After the COVID measures were lifted, many employers approached their home office policies more strictly and asked their employees to return to the office. This led to an inevitable decline in demand for some software solutions and services offered by technology giants. Additionally, it is important to note that inflationary levels have firmly tied the pockets of ordinary consumers, further contributing to the decline in IT sector revenues. These factors have led to the need to reduce costs in corporations, with the realization that there is no longer a need for all of the employees hired during the rapid growth of recent years.

Against the backdrop of the global threat of economic downturn and subsequent layoffs in the tech sector in Bulgaria, HR experts have not observed unusual layoffs. However, hiring in the technology sphere is visibly changing, with various studies showing that new jobs have decreased at double-digit rates in recent months. The data indicates that the hiring decline is mainly for lower-level positions requiring less work experience. It is also noted that more companies are looking to hire people on a project basis, without wanting to commit to permanent employment contracts, driven by the desire to limit their expenses.

According to Nikolay Nikolov from the Bulgarian Association for People Management and the Bulgarian Confederation of Employers, who is also a partner at “Horizons Bulgaria”, by spring it will be clear what the effect will be for the country – whether the labor market in the IT sector here will follow that in the USA and Western Europe or, on the contrary, Western companies will prefer to rely on even lower costs in Bulgaria. We cannot ignore the fact that salaries in Bulgaria are still below the levels in Western Europe and the USA, which could be interpreted as good news for the labor market here. Expectations are also positive from Nadezhda Vasileva, Managing Director of “Adecco Bulgaria”, as reported by Capital newsletter. According to her, there is always a delay in hiring at the beginning of the year, but with its lower costs, Bulgaria remains attractive and is more likely to attract foreign businesses than to lose them. Whatever the mid-term forecast for the development of the IT sector and hiring new employees in our country may be, one thing is certain – to continue our sustainable development in technology companies, we need to constantly invest in knowledge and quickly retrain to keep up with the dynamic changes in the technological world.

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Digital National Alliance© 2022 All rights reserved. | Crafted by Stephanie Velichkova

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