Data will become the new currency in an age of AI where the efficacy of AI tools hinges upon the quality of data sets on which they are trained, writes GlobalData principal analyst Natasha Rybak in an industry update. 

To realise the full value of their data, Rybak states that businesses will require “substantial investment” into the refinement and display of their data. This investment, Rybak writes, will require an enormous amount of time to search through data as well as “unimpeded access and the legal remit to operate”. 

In her update, posted on 17 October, Rybak also reflected on the legal issues and use cases surrounding personal and identifiable data owned by businesses such as Meta, Walmart and Sky

Both Sky UK and Walmart are accessing personal or behavioural data in order to create more personalised experiences for their customers. 

Sky UK’s new Search Behaviour tool allows Sky to create “more granular audience targeting” during a customer’s purchase journey for specific products, writes Rybak. To do this, Sky uses metrics such as location, age and third-party corollary data to generate more accurate recommendations for customers. 

In Rybak’s opinion, this creates an advertising system that is one of the most “evolved, established and high-profile” in the UK. 

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By GlobalData

However, using metrics of this nature can land businesses in liminal legal spaces. 

Rybak also cited Meta’s recent legal troubles with Norway’s data protection agency Datatilsynet after the group tried to ban Meta from using user data to create personalised ads. 

Speaking to Verdict back in August, Datatilsynet believed it “was only a matter of time” before Meta found itself facing personal data bans from other regulatory bodies. 

Rybak’s descriptions of data as the “diamonds in the rough” for businesses wishing to implement AI tools are not alone. 

In an interview with Reuters earlier this month, International Competition Network chair Andreas Bundt warned that AI could exacerbate Big Tech’s dominance due to the large amounts of data these companies already own. 

“The danger is very great because you need two things above all for AI, powerful servers and vast amounts of data,” stated Bundt, pointing out that Big Tech companies such as Meta or Alphabet already had these to hand, leaving smaller AI start-ups at a disadvantage. 

Businesses wishing to leverage AI cannot underestimate the value of the data they use and must consider the legal side of every piece of data they handle.