Google does not let humans touch personal data

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is now central to Google’s operations, which means that the search engine outfit does not need to let a human near any personal data.

At Google’s AI in Action event in Zurich, GlobalData heard how the company is tackling the issue of responsible and ethical AI deployment.

GlobalData’s technology writer Ellen Daniel said: “An ethical conundrum that AI brings with it is the data it runs on. AI relies on having access to comprehensive data to learn, but while this can bring with it many benefits, where this data is stored, how it is anonymised and for what purpose it is used is of paramount importance.”

Olivier Bousquet, head of machine learning research at Google, said: “The fact that we are collecting data is not necessarily bad per se, but, of course, it means that we have a huge responsibility with respect to the privacy of the data and the use of the data.

“When it comes to customers of our cloud, storing their data on our cloud, this data is siloed and encrypted. So that means nobody at Google has access to that data. So if you’re a cloud customer, you’re using our servers to store your data, then it’s your data. Nobody looks at it, it’s not that we have access to it or we share it or whatever.

“As we have seen in the past with GDPR, for example, Google was doing a lot already in privacy and the fact that it gets materialised in principle, that is not just Google applying its own principle, but it gets materialised into something that is applicable to every company, [and] is a good thing for society.”

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