18 June 2024

Personal AI: accurate and not shared with the rest of the world

Use AI within the context of your life or business with your own data

Apple introduced “Apple Intelligence” last week, that combines the power of generative AI models with personal context to deliver intelligence that is really helpful and relevant for you in person.

A very cool concept because it functions within the context of your life (or business), unlike tools like ChatGPT where data is retrieved from a gigantic public global database.

Something that many people also forget is that ChatGPT writes your personal data (your question, your uploaded file) to that public database to train and improve the model, which is not bad in itself, but what you don't want for specific (sensitive, personal) data.

Regardless of the idea that your data will become publicly available, such a worldwide database does not always have the desired answer to a very specific, local question for you.

Your data is your data

If you use professional services such as the OpenAI API, then the answer is crystal clear, no reason to panic: “Your data is your data”.

To illustrate why this is so important, I will give an example of a real estate company where you can apply for a loan to buy a house:

They ask the applicant to upload his or her pay slip. The maximum loan for that person is determined on the basis of the pay slip numbers.

Here you can use the power of AI to automatically read data from uploaded documents with these benefits:

  • you can read data very accurately of different types of pay slip documents, much better/smarter than OCR technology (each social secretariat has its own document format for it’s pay slip)

  • you save a lot of time (and money) if you have to process a high volume of payslips

But wat you don't want: share your uploaded documents to the public because you don't want such personal financial information to be included in the mass of public available data.

As of March 1, 2023, your data sent to the OpenAI API will not be used to train or improve OpenAI models. You can also ask very specifically for “zero data retention” where request and responses are not persisted to any logging mechanism and exist only in memory in order to serve the request.

You can see it as a kind of container, “private cloud” in which your personal data is stored and protected and not shared with the public.

You train your own dragon

What we are all noticing today is that the mass of data that is available worldwide and used to train current AI models and tools sometimes, produces strange or not accurate enough results for your question in your specialization.

I will explain this with an example of an AI solution for a law firm:

Suppose your law firm writes very specific documents for governments regarding Constitutional law, Environmental law or Local authorities of 100 pages or more. 

When you get a new assignment and you must prepare a new document on one or more of those topics, then it is particularly interesting to retrieve text fragments from your previously created documents with the help of AI as a basis for your new assignment.

The great power of being able to use AI technology on your own data is:

  • you will be using your own reliable and verified knowledge and experience from the texts already produced by your team

  • you are presented with this information very quickly, much faster than manual search in files

  • you can use AI to formulate your own text differently, for example: adjusting the tone, delivering the right words to meet the new situation

  • you can use AI to summarize your text and have it recapped in the form of a digestible paragraph, bulleted key points, a table, or a list

There are more than enough examples of how to apply today's available AI technology safely, usefully and with your own data in your own web application and business processes.

Remember that you don't have to share your personal, sensitive data with the rest of the world at all.

You will undoubtedly save costs, use your valuable time on more intelligent tasks and gain an advantage over your competitors!