Technology in general is currently experiencing rapid expansion—from automated smart home systems, to the explorative metaverse which can be accessed through AI technology, and even the assistant chatbots that pop up when you visit a website seeking the perfect university to apply to or purchase that smart cooker that’s been on your mind for the longest time. 

The widespread adoption of technology creates an encouraging environment for transforming mundane tasks into simpler functions driven by efficiency and convenience. Along with the repercussions posed by the global pandemic, individuals and organisations are open to the idea of carrying on their lives in a digitally connected interface where interactions can be made intellectually, and indulging in a diverse environment of people and devices is as easy as it gets.  Although, with a mass amount of data and quintillions of bytes that have to be processed every day, plenty of databases experiencing security breaches are a high possibility.  Yet, the interesting thing about constantly evolving technology is that it revels in risk mitigation for security and privacy risks whilst yielding the potential to revolutionise digitalised societies in drastic ways. 

What Is AI? 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) significantly contains a lot of technical jargon that is difficult to untangle. In simple terms, AI is a field of computer science that aims to create programs that perform tasks which can be conducted by humans. With a significant amount of its specialities being attributed to machine learning, the technology can perform tasks that require learning, adapting, reasoning, recognizing patterns, along with decision-making. The term is quite broad and evolves often, and its mechanisms act as a basic root for Robotics, Predictive Analytics and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Simply, AI works by processing a large quantity of data and pattern recognition and predictive analysis take place through the accumulation of data throughout. To narrow down the technicalities, think of a chatbot that gathers information by encountering examples of a variety of chats with people—the responses you receive are a result of AI combining its learning, reasoning and self-correction. 

AI will only continue to accelerate in its development, with its potential being able to grow beyond our imaginations, benefitting us in a plethora of ways. Despite our daily lives, AI is the technology that can be found in every nook and corner in ways that we do not realise; the movie suggestions brought to you by Netflix, autonomous cars and the yellow LED lights that dim down when you opt for reading a book before getting a good night’s sleep—these are all activities that represent mainstream AI technology. 

 The Role of AI In The Digital Industry

The digital industry is a storm of a wide range of technologies that shape the ongoing digital transformation of the 21st century. From the Internet of Things, and Virtual Reality, to SaaS and Robotics, the fourth generation of digital technologies would be the driving force of powerful systems and processes we see in organisations today. Interestingly, AI has been recognized as a cynical force that instigates digital transformation. 

With the never-ending evolution of the digital world, the looming question of whether our data is protected or not becomes bolder by the day. The popularity of AI and the marvellous amount of data that it handles, contribute to the growing concerns about privacy—however, its continuous advances introduce a ton of potential for compliance in securing personal information. It’s only viable that AI solutions are introduced to tackle privacy issues rather than manual approaches considering how the digital industry becomes more and more sophisticated and secure every day. 

How can AI be an Asset To Data Protection and Privacy?

The challenges brought about by digitalization would certainly concern data privacy at first, however, the ideology that AI could be used to enhance privacy compliance is been gaining traction. Here are a few ways in which AI could enhance data privacy and security; 

  1. The Use of Behavioural Modelling – 

Behaviour modelling in AI can be used for the identification of malware. It’s common to come across malicious software when storing large chunks of data, and AI tools that make use of behavioural modelling can analyse this data and generate predictive models that detect threats to cybersecurity. As soon as a threat is discovered, AI tools can generate countermeasures to instantly respond to the cyberattack. When protecting personal data, most enterprises adopt AI to monitor user data workflows to strengthen their shield against unwanted intrusions. 

In case of a security breach, the privacy of customers and personal data can be guarded because of careful and articulate monitoring of network behaviour—any anomaly or unusual behaviour like an extravagant debit transaction could indicate internal fraud within an organisation, and there would be a need to compromise privacy for personal data. 

  1. Data Classification and Federated Learning 

A great number of businesses store personal data that comprises an abundance of sensitive information and data classification allows organising data in relevant categories so that convenience is a factor that companies don’t have to worry about. Usually, segmenting data according to its sensitivity allows for restricted access; thus, data vulnerability is lessened and the risk of information like credit card numbers, health records, and authentication data being unanimously leaked becomes mitigated. 

Federated learning, on the other hand, is a fairly new AI mechanism that declutters the idea of explicitly sharing personal data. A key aspect of this branch in AI is that data scientists can share statistical models whilst using a decentralised machine learning technique. Put simply, this means that the need to upload private data to the system or exchange data is disregarded—the model is naturally privacy-aware. This method learns through data compiling, where initial data isn’t disclosed and new models are built based on various sources. 

  1. Quick Adaptation and Processing

AI cannot relate to protruding behaviour and strives to emphasise how regulations and compliance standards are duly met, whilst allowing individuals to check if their preferences are complied with at one’s convenience. A combination of effective machine learning, digital intelligence, and data algorithms make up the entirety of AI. The technology is also adamant about adapting to the user’s patterns, or even previously determined criteria allowing optimum control to be exercised by the user in safeguarding personal data. 

On top of that, the exponential amount of data being transferred every millisecond, and tasks being performed simultaneously would not pose a challenge for an AI-powered platform that secures privacy. Because of the strict regulations and innovative machine learning algorithms, crafting a seamless digital experience for all those who indulge themselves in a myriad of tasks powered by technology is possible through AI. 

The Future of Data Privacy 

It’s quite evident that AI-powered technology and the digital industry evolving at a rapid pace require us individuals and corporations to join in on the bandwagon of supporting the change. Every day, the lines between reality and the awe-inspiring virtual reality in fiction become blurred—soon enough, AI technology will be a household name amongst the digital technologies that we have access to. With its rapid widespread use, being concerned about privacy is a universal thought. However, incorporating AI into business practices in the same rigorous manner would open up possibilities for personal data to be protected from security breaches and reduce the potential for malware. For example, considering how the private data stored on any platform even has an ‘expiration date’, AI raises the bar for data protection rather than exploiting security measures. The compliant mechanisms and robust services do not fail to reduce any nefarious complications arising in the future. 

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