Artificial Intelligence is considered to be the 5th Industrial Revolution and AI is changing permanently both how people and companies operate and interact. Computer vision and speech recognition are areas within AI that require, in addition to the algorithms, a large amount of training data such as images and recorded speech. Europe’s ethical approach to AI is reflected in GDPR policies which are meant to ensure the citizens privacy and data protection. Most of the existing data that companies have wasn’t gathered following GDPR, and as such cannot be used if it contains personal data.
StageZero Technologies, the Helsinki based growth company, has identified the increasing need from large and small companies to provide GDPR-compliant AI data that has become their spear-head service. This means both creating and labeling data for their customers AI projects. StageZero has a novel approach to the data process where they utilize among other users in mobile apps and sports clubs to create and do labeling tasks. These partnerships mean a new monetization form for app developers who gets a share of the revenue and clubs get compensated for e.g. reading out texts for speech recognition purposes.
StageZero and Lexia crossed paths at a guidance service for video game industry start-ups. First steps in the cooperation included the drafting of a share option scheme and sorting out labour law issues. Since then, Lexia has assisted the company in legal issues related to financial arrangements and in privacy and data protection, among other matters.
“We noticed very early on that it was sensible to take the legal side into account from the get-go, as data protection related issues are a major for large companies. Lexia has demonstrated its special expertise and helped us enormously in building a reputation as a pioneer in ethical AI among our customers”, says Thomas Forss, co-founder and CEO of StageZero.
StageZero´s novel approach in collecting and labeling AI training data and due to this pioneering work also presents new legal problems for lawyers.
“Together with StageZero’s team, we have had the chance to consider data protection issues related to audio data, for example the fading of identifiability from audio data”, says Juuso Turtiainen, Lexia’s lawyer responsible for the cooperation with StageZero and specializing in the gaming industry.
In order to teach the AI, StageZero has also created a totally new kind of fundraising opportunity for organisations such as sports clubs. Training AI requires an enormous amount of different speech samples, and therein lies opportunity for club collaborations. The sports club members read audio samples, and StageZero converts the samples into data format.
“We will continue to focus on the use of text, speech, and machine vision solutions in different areas. Within these segments, we help solving AI data related problems for our customers. Typically, 80% of the time in AI projects is spent on data related activities and require expertise that companies seek to get help with,” says Thomas Forss.