AI at Work?

Shawnee Love   •   May 23, 2023

Seems like everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) today. I admit, I am not particularly techie. Being of the X generation, I use technology as tools for my life and work, but I remember (and at times feel wistful for) times when technology wasn’t so ubiquitous. I heard the words “Chat GPT’ three times before I decided to google what it meant (#irony).

Previously when I thought of AI, the classic line from the Jurassic Park franchise came to mind, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they forgot to think if they should.”

“Should” doesn’t matter anymore as the AI “animal” has been released into the wild. It is up to us to determine where it will reside in the ecosystem of our world. Will it become top of the food chain (as some fear) or can it become like a benevolent assistant with good boundaries always helping but knows not to cross the line? Time will tell I guess, but we have more pressing matters to attend to.

One of the things I learned in my research on Chat GPT is that many employees admit to already using it for work, and more often than not, they have not informed their bosses.

Let’s be honest, if someone has become exceptionally more productive lately and it turns out AI is the tool behind that improvement, you will probably be thrilled. The fact that AI can fast track repetitive tasks is one of the key benefits of using it. At the same time, companies are responsible for what they do and how they do it, which is why employers need to ensure they are in charge of how AI is being used in their organization. Since AI tools like Chat GPT are free and available to anyone on the internet (and employers often provide internet), employees may not be aware that their employers are concerned about them using AI.

Since AI is out of the cage so to speak, employers can and should take steps to get a handle on it (as much as anyone can with this fast adapting technology) in their organizations.

Here’s what you can (and should) do:

#1. Ask employees to disclose the use of AI. And invite them to bring forward possible uses as well to get ahead of surprises down the road.

#2. Evaluate uses of AI for benefits and risks. Make decisions intentionally and with the goal of enhancing your organizational success and for the benefit of the greater good of their stakeholders (and the world in general if we can be so bold).

#3. Manage the implementation of AI, i.e., involve all those impacted in planning, consider other systems and processes which will be impacted, set clear parameters and objectives, etc.

#4. Train users and their leaders in the use and ethics of use as well as the risks.

#5. Regularly monitor and evaluate use to ensure the AI is still serving the purposes as outlined and unforeseen consequences and outcomes are addressed.

#6. Have a policy and process to guide your organization in the implementation of AI or any new tools or methods at work.

If you want help with creating your policies and procedures or managing change, we are here.