Protecting Artificial Intelligence (AI) Models: The Role of Software Escrow

The widespread adoption of AI models is transforming businesses globally, driving innovation and efficiency. Particularly significant is the rise of generative AI, enabling autonomous creation of realistic content. According to statista, AI is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2030) of 15.83%, resulting in a market volume of US$738.80bn by 2030.

As AI models become increasingly sophisticated and integral to various industries, the need to protect these assets has never been more critical to businesses today. This is where the concept of software escrow emerges as a crucial component of a business’s risk management strategy.

The AI Revolution

Companies are increasingly embracing AI technologies according to a research report by IBM, which found that about 42% of enterprise-scale organisations (over 1,000 employees) surveyed have AI actively in use in their businesses – but why is this?

Firstly, AI enables businesses to enhance efficiency and productivity by automating repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up human resources for more strategic endeavours. Additionally, AI-driven analytics provide invaluable insights from vast datasets, enabling data-driven decision-making for improved outcomes and competitive advantage. Additionally, AI enables personalised customer experiences through predictive analytics and recommended systems, resulting in stronger customer relationships and loyalty.

Well recognised brands such as Starbucks, Netflix and ABInBev are all embracing AI technologies. Starbucks utilises AI-powered recommendation systems to personalise customer experiences through its mobile app, suggesting tailored drink options based on past orders and preferences. Netflix employs AI algorithms to analyse viewing patterns and user data, delivering personalised content recommendations and optimising its vast library for individual subscribers. AB InBev leverages AI for predictive maintenance in its brewing facilities, using data analytics to anticipate equipment failures and optimise production processes, ensuring consistent quality and efficiency.

Ultimately, the adoption of AI technologies empowers companies to innovate, adapt to evolving market dynamics and stay ahead in this ever evolving business landscape.

Understanding AI Models and Their Vulnerabilities

Before looking into how software escrow can assist businesses in mitigating risks associated with AI model adoption, we will start by looking at the significance of AI models and the vulnerabilities they face.

As described by IBM, an AI model is defined by its ability to autonomously make decisions or predictions, rather than simulate human intelligence. However, despite their importance and the recent surge in adoption by businesses, AI models are not immune to risks, which include the following:

  1. Data Breaches: AI models often rely on vast amounts of data for training and interpretation. Any compromise of this data, whether through unauthorised access or breaches, can undermine the integrity and confidentiality of the model.

  2. Data Poisoning: Data poisoning is a type of cyber attack aimed at manipulating the data used to train machine learning models. By injecting carefully crafted data points, attackers can intentionally degrade the performance and manipulate the behaviour of the AI model.

Protection For Your AI Assets

In the face of these risks, businesses must adopt proactive measures to safeguard their AI investments. One such measure is software escrow which protects the intellectual property (IP) interests of the software developer while protecting the long term usability of software for the client.

Software escrow is a three party arrangement between a software developer (the depositor), the end user (beneficiary) and the software escrow company. The software developer deposits the source code and related materials with the software escrow company. The objective of a software escrow agreement is to provide comfort to the beneficiary that if the software developer is unable or unwilling to support the software, the source code and other critical components such as databases, deployment scripts, and documentation can be released to them. A software escrow agreement outlines the responsibilities of all the parties and includes the pre-defined release conditions.

Applying Software Escrow to AI Models

While software escrow is traditionally associated with software and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, its principles can be extended to AI models with some adaptations:

  1. Deposit of Source Code: AI models, like traditional software applications, consist of source code and accompanying documentation. By depositing these assets to a secure client managed by a software escrow company, businesses are able to ensure access to the underlying technology in the event of vendor disruption, bankruptcy, or other conditions.

  2. Software Escrow Agreements Tailored to AI: Software escrow agreements managing AI models should address unique considerations such as data privacy, model governance and algorithmic transparency. These agreements should outline the conditions under which escrowed source code and other assets can be released, including provisions for ongoing maintenance and updates.

To understand what type of software escrow agreement is right for your business and licencing contracts, please visit here.


In an era defined by rapid technological advancement and evolving regulatory landscapes, safeguarding AI models is imperative for businesses across some industries. By leveraging software escrow into their risk management strategy, businesses can safeguard against associated data breaches and data poisoning, thereby protecting their AI investments and ensuring business continuity and continuous innovation.


About Escrow London

Escrow London is a global software and SaaS escrow company with offices in London, UK, and Sydney, Australia. Our North American division called The Escrow Company, is based in Atlanta, US.

We have invested considerable resources into innovation to reinvent software escrow for a SaaS world. Escrow London provides a range of SaaS continuity escrow solutions suitable for AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud hosted SaaS applications. We support a wide range of clients includes major law firms, banks, central banks, insurance companies, technology companies and government organisations.

To find out more about Escrow London and our software escrow and SaaS continuity escrow solutions, visit our YouTube channel.