Natural language interaction (NLI) specialist Artificial Solutions has announced enhancements to its enterprise NLI platform, Teneo, which have been developed with the EU’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in mind.
Teneo’s primary purpose is to enable end users to have meaningful interactions with technology. But, according to Artificial Solutions, it will also be the first conversational AI platform to offer next-generation data-control options that ensure clients’ compliance with GDPR.
These include single incidences of data, and conversations that can be anonymised or ‘pseudonymised’ to comply with the new regulations.
With GDPR coming into effect in May, organisations around the world are having to reshape how they handle European customer information. To gain the benefits of applying AI to data sets may demand a difficult balancing act, with all storage and data analysis systems forced to adapt to the regulations’ new parameters.
Any company processing the data of EU citizens is obliged to comply with GDPR’s terms, which means that mechanisms to store, retrieve, and – in some instances – permanently delete compliant data will need to be put in place.
“The challenge for enterprises is how to maximise the benefits of deploying advanced AI technologies within their business, while remaining within the requirements of data protection legislation. Regulations are continually being extended to afford data subjects more rights and increased protection,” said Andy Peart, chief strategy officer at Artificial Solutions.
“With Teneo, these organisations can implement advanced conversational AI applications across all platforms, devices, and operating systems, and benefit from extensive data analysis, without contravening regulations such as GDPR.”
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Teneo’s compliance measures come in several forms. First of all, the platform can be housed within clients’ own IT infrastructures.
Second, the way the Teneo platform processes data has been adapted to ensure compliance with GDPR. For example, all customer queries, information, and responses gathered by the platform are stored in a single place.
From an operational perspective, this streamlines the process of interpreting conversational data. And from a GDPR standpoint, it means that personal data can be easily identified and deleted if required.
Harnessing anonymised data
An obvious challenge facing companies that rely on customer data to improve business processes or spot new trends is how to do that within the new rules.
Using Teneo, clients can pseudonymise their customers’ personal data. This means that conversations can still be used for statistical analysis and gathering insights, long after personal information has been removed in accordance with GDPR.
“Data is at the heart of conversational AI systems. Even when it’s been anonymised it still holds a wealth of information that enterprises can learn from, and can use to add value to the business,” explained Peart.
“Teneo allows enterprises to maintain full ownership of the data, whereas with other providers they get access to the data. In this scenario, businesses are potentially giving away this unique company data and insight to others who, in the future, may well become competitors.”
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GDPR comes at a challenging time for many organisations, because it coincides with the more widespread adoption of AI, as the technology becomes embedded in more and more enterprise applications.
But GDPR isn’t an endpoint, it’s an ongoing process from the moment of its implementation, and it’s important to remember that the new regulations have been introduced to protect consumers’ and citizens’ interests.
This is why organisations should see GDPR as an opportunity to create better relationships with their customers and prospects, and to deepen trust. Providers such as Artificial Solutions should be applauded for helping their own customers to navigate this challenging new environment on behalf of end-users’ safety and security.
GDPR is also helping to separate some vendors from others: a number of companies recently, such as IBM, have stressed that with the AI systems that they offer to their own customers, such as Watson, they (the vendors) retain no stake in the data.
In every sense, then, GDPR can be see as the new gauge of trust.