The AI revolution has become a prominent topic in the technology field, rapidly assimilating into mainstream conversations in the media.
Initial concerns that AI would replace human effort are being replaced by the realisation that machines are here to assist, easing the burden of mundane, repetitive tasks that often consume valuable time. This allows knowledge workers to dedicate more of their day to higher-value tasks.
Reduce AI risks with dynamic policies
However, as with any revolution, the AI revolution comes with its risks and consequences too. The BBC state, ‘with AI’s increasing presence in the workplace, policies need to evolve to address privacy, ethics, and cybersecurity concerns.’
Many organisations have already taken action to manage these risks by forming special interest groups comprising diverse business areas such as HR, Finance, IT and Operations.
Among the topics on their agendas should be the impact of the AI revolution on the organisation’s policies – what needs to change and what new policies are required.
Every week, new examples emerge, emphasising the need for organisations to carefully consider their use of AI. This includes mitigating the risk of lost intellectual property, inadvertent sharing of client data, breaching client rules, or providing clear guidance to colleagues on the nature of AI and how it should be approached in the workplace.
How to update your policies with AI in mind
Here are some key policies that we recommend may need updating or development in preparation for AI solutions:
1. Acceptable use policies: we recommend organisations review their acceptable use policies to ensure they cover the use of AI tools and technologies. This may include policies regarding data access and usage restrictions on non-approved AI tools.
2. Data privacy policies: organisations may need to update their privacy policies to address the collection, storage, and processing of personal data in AI applications. This is particularly important when data collection may be somewhat hidden, such as in Microsoft Teams apps or grammar/spelling checkers, which may harvest information that can be commercialised in exchange for the app’s functionality.
3. Intellectual property policies: organisations should consider the potential intellectual property implications of using AI tools and technologies. This may involve updating policies related to patent protection and ownership of AI-generated works.
4. Employee training policies: organisations should provide training and upskilling opportunities for employees to help them understand the implications of AI in the workplace and how to use approved AI tools and technologies effectively. Equally, organisations should consider implementing a mechanism for colleagues to suggest new AI apps for approval, reducing the risk of unapproved application usage such as shadow IT.
5. Cybersecurity policies: organisations should review their cybersecurity policies to ensure they address the unique risks associated with AI applications, such as the potential for cyberattacks targeting AI algorithms.
6. Ethics policies: we recommend organisations consider developing ethics policies that address the ethical implications of using AI. This may include policies on responsible AI use, prevention of bias and discrimination, and protection of individual rights.
Embracing the AI revolution
In summary, organisations must make sure that their policies align with the specific challenges and opportunities AI presents. And as Deloitte has continuously said, ‘embracing AI is no longer an option but a necessity for businesses to stay competitive and thrive in the digital age.’
At The Inform Team, we specialise in the people, culture and process side of technology-led changes. As such, we have been consulting with organisations on the implications their changes have on policies for many years.
Together, we can analyse your current policies, identify gaps and required changes and validate your process for keeping policies current and relevant.
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