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Estonian startup leaders: In 2022, we’ll see the rise of artificial intelligence

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The Estonian business news portal Geenius recently interviewed several key players of the Estonian startup ecosystem to find out what will be the prevailing trends in the tech sector in 2022.

Trend #1: Artificial intelligence

The production of synthetic data and teaching AI with it is becoming more widespread as it allows data to be “printed” and thus accelerates the training and deployment of artificial intelligence, believes Karen K. Burns, CEO and co-founder at Fyma, an Estonian startup supplying cameras with the AI.

Mikk Mangus, the head of the software development team of Estonian fifth unicorn Pipedrive, says that the importance of machine learning will grow as an important trend in the current year. “There has been a furor around this term for a long time, but it is likely that more and more all kinds of unprecedented solutions, which are possible only through machine learning, are coming to the market,” Mangus says.

Andres Sampka, co-founder and CEO of ParcelSea, an Estonian last-mile technology startup, predicts more extensive use of AI in online customer service and optimizing human communication. Sampka cites the automated negotiations developed by Estonian startup Pactum.

Rauno Sigur, co-founder, and CEO of DriveX, an Estonian vehicle verification software company that showed strong growth last year, predicts the growing “self-awareness” of artificial intelligence, i.e., the ability to learn on its own, will enable companies to adopt solutions faster. This, in turn, reduces the need for in-house development.

Trend #2: Blockchain

The growing importance of the blockchain is also predicted as one of the leading tech trends in 2022. According to Mikk Mangus, the blockchain is often associated with cryptocurrency and speculation, and it is forgotten that this technology could potentially make applications much more transparent. “There is no doubt that some applications built on the blockchain will be widely used soon,” Mangus adds.

Rivo Uibo, co-founder and CBO of Estonian FinTech Tuum (former Modularbank), predicts that we will see a growing trend combining Web 3 (Semantic Web or decentralized Internet-based on public blockchain), decentralized finance (DeFi), cryptocurrencies, non-fungible token (NTF), and possibly exciting solutions from different distributed ledger technologies (DLT).

“This year will be very exciting to see what kind of projects will be launched in this area, who will receive funding to support growth, and who will also be able to acquire a sustainable user community,” Uibo adds.

Trend #3: 5G and IoT

Andres Sampka sees the advent of fast 5G data communications as one of the biggest drivers of the IT business, which contributes to increasing autonomy in cities – whether in the transportation of physical goods (Starship) or improving the reliability and latency of smart homes and smart industry applications.

Burns adds that this year, 5G video analytics will open to the market powerfully. It will almost eliminate latency, allowing stable and fast video analytics to be performed anywhere there is a 5G connection.

Jander Lapmaa, the leading developer at Helmes , believes that in the coming years, we will have a boom in the spread of smart homes (IoT) to save energy and be more environmentally friendly.

Trend #4: Mobility as a Service

“Electric cars don’t save the world if we produce them in the same amount as internal combustion engine cars,” Bolt’s engineering manager Rasmus Lelumees explains the green core of the rising trend of the MaaS (Mobility as a Service). According to Lelumees, this year, more and more people could ask if a personal car is still reasonable – for both the planet and the wallet – and consider various alternative means of transport and platforms.

Trend #5: Virtual reality

Lelumees also believes that we will see an increasing invasion of virtual reality under the leadership of Meta (Facebook) this year.

“The tireless efforts of one technology giant to bring virtual reality to us will probably start to bear fruit soon. A good question is whether an even more virtual social network will be better and cooler. Anyway, we will definitely hear about virtual reality in 2022,” he says.

Trend #6: Remote services

We will see even more significant development of remote services worldwide soon, predicts Katrina Laks, co-founder, and CEO of Migrevention, Estonian HealthTech creating a convenient solution for those suffering from migraines. “It’s a matter of overcoming and implementing regulatory barriers today,” Laks notes.

Trend #7: Technological independence of companies

“Instead of taking all the necessary technology from one place, more and more different providers are being used: who makes the notification system, who manages the customer contracts. For each specific business segment, the best solution on the market is selected, and the solutions of different providers are integrated through APIs,” Uibo explains the trend which turns companies to reach more significant technological independence and avoid a situation where they would become dependent on one particular provider.

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