AI and Big Data: data today to receive tomorrow

It is clear that the progressive integration of digital technologies, along with the decrease in the cost of collecting, storing and processing data, has created an environment where the digital and physical worlds overlap. Thus, the term “datasphere” was born.

And the latter is destined to develop rapidly. In just ten years, between 2010 and 2020, the total amount of information stored worldwide in computer systems has increased by 32. And that’s not all: according to forecasts by the International Data Group (2), this amount is expected to triple again with 2025!

“Big Data”, which refers to this ubiquity of voluminous, varied, fast data that is too complex to be processed by the human mind alone, has been creating buzz for more than a decade. Often equated with “the black gold of the 21st centurye century”, its potential arouses wonder, but also many questions. There is now a technology that makes it possible to exploit data to generate significant economic, social and environmental benefits: artificial intelligence (hereafter “AI”), i.e. “the set of theories and techniques used to produce machines capable of simulating human intelligence (3)’.

New services, new competitive advantages

AI can be a factor for progress, for example through the improvement of medical diagnoses or a better use of resources thanks to smart technologies (eg smart cities, traffic management for better mobility, sustainable agriculture, etc.). In addition, its spread leads to the emergence of new industries, new goods and services and new processes that generate significant competitive advantages in all economic sectors, from the most traditional to the most innovative.

At the business level, new data tools have many advantages. They make it possible, for example, to improve decision-making processes, to secure and increase revenues while reducing costs, to optimize all production processes (therefore increasing their investment capacity and innovation), achieve productivity gains and seize new business opportunities. The “Big Data” revolution has ushered in a new “gold rush” where the speed of technological integration will give the most robust and agile companies a competitive bonus (“first mover advantage”).

The ‘Big Data’ revolution has sparked a new ‘gold rush’ where the speed of technological integration will give the most resilient and agile companies a competitive bonus.

Carlo Thelen , General Manager, Chamber of Commerce

Currently, companies and economic powers are competing in “Big Data” and AI to establish their technological superiority and guarantee their economic competitiveness on the international stage. For this, the most important economies in the world, including Luxembourg, have already begun their journey towards becoming “data-driven economies”, i.e. ecosystems that systematically rely on the collection and analysis of data in their value creation process to become more efficient and resilient.

The Grand Duchy has already begun to build a solid foundation in this direction, accumulating the benefits of introducing new technologies related to data and AI. These include, for example, modern digital infrastructures (e.g. MeluXina, 5G), growing social acceptance, the position as a leading financial center, the presence of a growing research and education ecosystem. , as well as participation in numerous innovative and ambitious initiatives in the field of “Big Data” (e.g. GaiaX project to establish a European infrastructure for secure data, design of a cloud [4] Sovereign of Luxembourg).

Has an appropriate legislative framework

Despite all these favorable elements, it is crucial that Luxembourg redoubles its efforts to accelerate its transition to a competitive and attractive “data-driven economy” model. For this, one of the priorities should be to ensure a regulatory framework adapted to the needs of companies that guarantees both safety and competitiveness. The proposals for European regulations on data (“Data Act”) and on AI (“AI Act”) are currently being negotiated at EU level. As these texts will define the basis on which this technology will develop in Europe in the coming years, they are subject to strict monitoring by the Chamber of Commerce. The latter has thus issued a number of amendments and comments aimed at influencing the legislative content and ensuring a viable economic basis for Luxembourg companies.

Establishing harmonized rules for access and fair sharing of data (in B2B, B2C and B2G relationships) and facilitating the switch of cloud and edge service providers: these are the goals of the “Data Law” currently under preparation. A priori, it is an initiative that promotes the development of a data economy. I say “a priori” because there is a pitfall that we must not fall into above all: an overly restrictive approach which would result in legal and technical obligations that are too rigid and expensive for companies, especially in terms of of ” compatible”. Furthermore, other adaptations of the proposed regulation are necessary. Thus, the Chamber of Commerce and FEDIL published a joint position (5) on, among other things, requiring rules that are proportional and adapted to the objectives, better guarantees to protect companies’ trade secrets, shared responsibility between the parties’ stakeholders such as part of a process of switching cloud providers, or even the possibility of using an alternative dispute resolution body that already exists (rather than bearing the costs of creating or certifying a dedicated body within B2B -data transfers).

At all costs, we must prevent regulations from stifling innovation in Europe.

Carlo Thelen

Carlo Thelen, General Manager, Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce also analyzed the proposal for an “AI Law” (first legal framework for artificial intelligence), which aims to provide developers and users of artificial intelligence with clear obligations in relation to the various use cases of this technology. In this area, it draws attention to the importance of balancing the obligations laid down so that they are proportionate to the different levels of risk to the rights of individuals, as identified by the European Commission. Here, too, we must prevent regulations from stifling innovation in Europe at all costs.

In order for the European Union to be innovative and competitive in new data technologies, it also seems important to adapt the current proposal for a regulation in other respects. Without being exhaustive, it will be necessary, for example, to ensure that regulations are adapted to all companies (from the largest to the smallest), to make “regulatory sandboxes” more attractive, to allow companies to test products of AI in a controlled environment, or even extending the implementation period of the rules to give companies time to acquire the necessary skills through recruitment or training.

In parallel with its steps related to the proposed regulations mentioned above, the Chamber of Commerce, as a privileged partner of Luxembourg companies, is carrying out many other measures to facilitate the digital transition of companies. For example, it maintains a permanent financial and legal monitoring, notifies bills, publishes informative documents (e.g. guides on cyber security and electronic invoicing) and organizes services (e.g. Go Digital) and events (e.g. cycle of Ready4AI -conferences) to support its members in their technological adoption. Finally, she also recently published News & Trends’ “Artificial Intelligence and Big Data: a guide to navigating the future Luxembourg data-driven economy”.

A new “gold rush” has begun. Data that is well managed and used today will bear fruit tomorrow in the interest of companies and society.

1 https://virtual-rangers-metaverse.com/

2 International Data Group (IDC) is a multinational specializing in consulting and market research within information technology.

3 Definition from the Larousse Encyclopedia.

4 A sovereign cloud is a cloud that is hosted and operated exclusively at the national level for greater security.

5 https://www.cc.lu/toute-linformation/actualites/detail/joint-position-paper-on-the-proposal-for-a-data-act

Carlo Thelen is the day-to-day manager of Chamber of Commerce and this article is available at his blog with the consent of the author.

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