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Michal Gal
Michal Gal

Center for Law and Technology, University of Haifa

Synthetic Data: Competitive and Human Dignity Implications

Abstract

A data-generation revolution is underway. Up until recently, most of the data used for decision-making was collected from events that take place in the physical world ("real" data). Yet, it is forecasted that by 2024, 60% of data used to train artificial intelligence systems around the world will be synthetic (!). Synthetic data is artificially-generated data that has analytical value. For some purposes, synthetic datasets can replace real data by preserving or mimicking their properties. For some others it can complement real data in a way which increases their accuracy or their privacy protection. The importance of this data revolution for our economies and societies cannot be over-stated. It affects data access and data flows, potentially changing the competitive dynamics in markets where real data is not easily collected, and potentially affecting decision-making functions for many spheres of our lives. In many ways, synthetic data does to data what synthetic threads did to cotton. This data-generation revolution requires us to reevaluate and potentially restructure our current legal data governance regime, which was designed with real data in mind. As Michal Gal will show in her presentation, synthetic data challenges the current equilibrium erected by our laws among values to be protected, including data utility, privacy, and human rights.

About

Michal Gal (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.) is Professor and Director of the Center for Law and Technology at the Faculty of Law, University of Haifa, Israel, and is the elected President of the International Academic Society for Competition Law Scholars (ASCOLA). She was a Visiting Professor at NYU, Columbia, University of Chicago, Georgetown, Melbourne, National University of Singapore, and Bocconi. Professor Gal is the author of several books, including Competition Policy for Small Market Economies (Harvard University Press). She also published numerous scholarly articles in leading journals, including on the intersection of competition law and intellectual property, on law and technology, on the effects of the size of the market on regulation, and on algorithms and big data. She has won prizes for her research and for her teaching. Inter alia, her paper, "Patent Challenge Clauses: A New Antitrust Offense?" (with Alan Miller) won the Jerry S. Cohen Medal, given by the American Antitrust Institute, for best antitrust paper published in 2017. Recently (2019) she won the highest award given by the University of Haifa, for Best Senior Researcher.

Professor Gal served as a consultant to several international organizations (including OECD, UNCTAD) on issues of competition law and was a non-governmental advisor of the International Competition Network (ICN). She also advised several small economies and regional organizations on the framing of their competition laws. She is a board member of several international antitrust organizations, including the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), The Antitrust Consumer Institute, the Asian Competition Law and Economics Center (ACLEC). She clerked at the Israeli Supreme Court, and her work is cited in its decisions on competition matters in competition authorities and courts around the world