Artificial Intelligence: GDPR Contains Too Many Bureaucratic Hurdles

eco Chair of the Board Oliver J. Süme recently spoke at the German Bundestag’s Study Commission on Artificial Intelligence on the subject of AI and data protection. In this interview, Süme gives an insight into the economic potential of the technology field – assuming that the bureaucratic hurdles are dispensed with.

Mr. Süme, where do you currently see the biggest bureaucratic obstacles for the handling of artificial intelligence?

The creation of a standardized European legal framework through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was indeed the right step towards a responsible data policy. However, its implementation is still presenting numerous unresolved legal questions and practical problems, especially for developers and providers of AI-based systems.

This concerns in particular the processing of AI training data and the transparency and information obligations of automated decision making. This puts companies within the EU at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their non-European counterparts.

What would you recommend instead?

Bureaucratic obstacles and legal uncertainties in data protection can only be overcome by a uniform European approach. The forthcoming evaluation of the GDPR should therefore be used to establish a legal framework that eliminates the current uncertainties and which is at the same time innovation-friendly and market-oriented.

What can the German economy then expect in the coming years in the field of AI?

From large corporations to SMEs, artificial intelligence in Germany offers a total potential of around 488 billion Euros. If AI is applied nationally across the board, a growth of over 13 percent in GDP can realistically be expected by 2025. This is the finding of a recent study conducted by eco and our member company Arthur D. Little, which was also supported by the Vodafone Institute.

The results of this study will be presented at an event in Brussels on 5 February. Here participants can familiarize themselves with the important insights and key learnings on the economic potential of AI and the political framework conditions requirements for the successful use of AI – so take the opportunity and be there. 

Oliver Süme