AI, it’s the word of the year. GDPR might be the warning of the year. Maybe one can help solve the other.

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – is coming into force in May 2018, and study after study show that companies are ill prepared. This is a problem, as companies that do not comply could be fined four per cent of turnover, and yet preparing for GDPR is devilishly complex.

AI – or, for those who are recently estranged from Mars, artificial intelligence – seems to be the word, or is that acronym of the year. And if claims about the technology are right, it could be the word/acronym of the 21st Century.

Just like GDPR, AI scares many. Elon Musk reckons it may cause world war III, Vladimir Putin reckons AI will be the key weapon of this century, others fear it will destroy jobs but others say it will just make life easier.

And if IBM is right, it may even make life easier for compliance teams too.

Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO has been talking about its AI system, Watson.

Speaking on Bloomberg she said: “We are in an era when you do not program machines they look at data, understand reason and learn. Everything you know today is programmable, but we are now in an era when you don’t need to program.”

But there is a difference between consumer AI and business.

So, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet are big on using consumer AI to target products and marketing. Companies such as Tesla are using AI to create autonomous cars.

IBM, by contrast, focuses on business, she said that with business: “AI will be vertical, meaning you will train it to understand medicine, train it to underwrite insurance, train it to know financial crimes, train it to know oncology, train it to know weather.”

And she adds: “We have also been training for regulatory – GDPR in Europe.”

But training AI for GDPR is a bit different she says, “there are not millions of data points on this, you need to train and interpret something on this with small amounts of data.“

GDPR Summit London is a dedicated event which will help businesses to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond.

Further information and conference details are available at