HR Technology

The Employees Secretly Using Generative AI at Work and Why Employers Should Care

The rise in sophistication and availability of generative AI tools has opened up immense potential for humans to make their lives easier by shifting some of their tasks to such tools. And that potential certainly extends to the workplace where many employees have discovered generative AI can do a lot of their work for them, as Alex Christian discusses in an article for BBC Worklife. These AI applications range from writing assistance to more complex problem-solving tools.

While these tools can significantly enhance efficiency and creativity, their clandestine use raises several concerns for employers.

AI’s Accuracy Issues

AI, particularly in its generative forms, is not always accurate or reliable. Employers should be concerned about the potential for AI to produce erroneous results or suggestions, which could lead to flawed decision-making or inaccurate work outputs. The lack of oversight on AI-generated content could result in significant errors going unnoticed until they cause substantial problems.

Risk of Intellectual Property Violation

Generative AI may inadvertently produce content that violates intellectual property (IP) rights. This is particularly risky when AI tools are used to generate marketing materials, reports, or creative content. The AI could replicate or slightly modify existing copyrighted material without proper attribution or permission, potentially leading to legal issues for the company.

Sensitive Information at Risk

When employees use AI tools, especially those hosted on external platforms, there’s a risk of inputting sensitive, proprietary, or confidential information into these systems. This could lead to unintentional data breaches or unintended sharing of sensitive information, where sensitive company information is exposed or compromised. Employers need to be aware of the types of data being fed into AI tools and ensure that confidential information is adequately protected.

The secret use of AI tools by employees in the workplace is a multi-faced issue. While it can lead to increased efficiency and innovation, it also poses significant risks in terms of accuracy, intellectual property rights, and data security. Employers need to be proactive in addressing these issues, potentially by setting clear policies on AI tool usage and ensuring that employees are trained on the responsible and safe use of these technologies. By doing so, companies can harness the benefits of AI while mitigating its risks.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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