Hybrid AI businessman points out into the distance at an electronic version of the scales of justice. This symbolizes how using AI in the workplace incorrectly causes a plethora of legal issues.

AI in the Workplace

In today’s rapidly evolving world, AI (artificial intelligence) is making its presence known as a revolutionary workplace resource. Read on to learn more about how the latest software could help or maybe harm you at work.

At Gardner Employment Law, we remain current on how the law intersects with the world’s innovative technologies. If you want to learn more about how using AI in the workplace could get you or your company in serious legal trouble, contact us today.

What is AI?

AI is a subject of computer science devoted to forming systems that are able to perform tasks that historically only humans were able to complete.  AI is machine learning. Fundamentally, AI relies on algorithms – sets of rules or commands – to make selections based the data entered and the instructions given by the creator of the algorithm. Algorithms can discern patterns in the information found throughout the entire Internet, allowing the AI to examine, predict, and make decisions based on these patterns. Essentially, AI answers a question which you enter using the knowledge of most of the World Wide Web following its algorithms (or instructions) and utilizing statistical principles.

At its core, AI is reshaping the workplace.  AI presents a plethora of possibilities that, when tapped, are game-changing. With AI in play, getting work done has never been easier or more efficient.  Simultaneously, cause for concern is growing.  Using AI comes with potential legal liabilities for executives which could result in harsh repercussions. The CEO of OpenAI even admitted that a bug in ChatGPT allowed some AI users to see others’ conversation titles. The potential for problems must be addressed so that we find a safe way to implement this useful resource in the workplace.

Before diving deeper into the negatives and legal issues connected with using AI, let’s highlight some of the ways AI can be used in the workplace.

How Can AI Be Used in the Workplace?

Writing:  AI offers a wide variety of workplace applications, including simplifying functions, delegating repetitive tasks, and helping generate creative ideas. This can include writing content, analyzing data, or managing employees.  Utilizing AI in the workplace could result in increasing both productivity and efficiency.

One clever way to use AI in the workplace is writing first drafts of articles.  Content writers in the advertising industry already are turning to AI to get started.  The writer enters the specifics of the topic which will be published, and AI very quickly churns out a complete first draft.  The writer then revises and finalizes the article.

Similarly, in the business office, writing tasks can pile up quickly.  Instead of your entering a query and receiving a list of links to article that you must read, AI reads and summarizes those articles for you in a narrative format.  Using AI as a resource can help executives stay on top of their writing projects and avoid getting behind.  Software also can craft professional emails that are instantly ready to send, especially those which are simple and used frequently.

Additionally, AI can provide broad factual feedback on a specific topic when you enter the correct terms into the software.  AI will produce unique and adaptable responses based on its lightning speed of survey information from the Internet.  After checking the facts, you can insert the factual response into a document.

Statistical Analysis:  AI can be applied as an effective device to analyze statistics.  AI can quickly interpret records through its natural language processing capabilities and extract valuable insights. With the aid of inputting statistics into AI, it determine styles, tendencies, and correlations within datasets. AI can summarize and categorize huge volumes of records, making it simpler for executives to comprehend key findings. Leveraging AI’s data evaluation abilities empowers managers, presidents, and CEOs to make data-driven decisions and streamline their operations effectively.

Monitoring Employees:  With many employees working remotely, software companies have produced programs that permit management to ability to monitor remote employees’ activities while working on their computers outside the office.  In one interesting story, a marketing manager noticed that one of the employees under her supervision was achieving good production in work content.  The manager also was able to see that the employee was doing this by using AI to write content.  The employee was in fact spending much of her time on her social media chats.

In summary, AI has proven itself as an asset in the workplace. Executives all around the world have started integrating its skills to improve efficiency and enhance the general quality of work. By leveraging AI’s capabilities for time management, data evaluation, and writing assistance, companies can achieve enhanced productivity and effectiveness throughout diverse elements of their operations.

If you want professional guidance on how you could be implementing artificial intelligence into your business or company, reach out to us today.

What Problems Arise When Using AI at Work?

Three problematic issues can easily arise when using AI to perform tasks at work: copyright infringement, misinformation, and unlawful advice. In theory, the program is summarizing what it gathers from the Internet without regard to authors.  This summary very easily could restate verbatim what the original author wrote and legally had copyrighted.  The employee reading the summary will have no way of know the source, where AI found the information, or whether the information was copyrighted.

Extensive research has been carried out on AI’s ability to provide misinformation.  As the New York Times reports, “Supplied with questions loaded with disinformation, [ChatGPT] can produce convincing, clean variations on the content en masse within seconds, without disclosing its sources.”  The potential of AI chatbots to generate fake narratives and enlarge conspiracy theories is well documented.  Leading computer science professionals warn about the sizable legal issues this may cause.  Using unverified and potentially inaccurate AI-generated content can result in reputational harm, legal liability, and regulatory violations for businesses. Additionally, the spread of misinformation in the workplace can harm productivity, cause distrust, or even dismantle an entire company.

Producing unlawful advice is closely related to the problem of relying on misinformation.  For example, if an employee at a medical clinic relies on AI for advice in treating a patient, one can readily see how this possibly could produce disastrous results.  There is no substitute for hard work and studying authoritative sources before taking action on which you and others will rely.

Since AI is just a computer program, there is no code embedded which prevents the computer from breaking the law.  The computer follows the instructions given.   AI’s potential to generate text based on its data collection comes with the risk of accidentally generating illegal content.  It is imperative to tread lightly while using AI to mitigate the chance of legal issues arising. If you are not sure if you are correctly utilizing AI lawfully in the workplace, contact an expert attorney today.

How Can Executives Become Liable for Using AI?

An executive could be liable for copyright infringement if, as explained above, copywriting material is used without permission of the author.  Because AI relies on the Internet as its source, which includes copyrighted materials, there is a risk that the software may generate responses that reproduce copyrighted content without proper authorization.  Distributing the copyrighted information to others could spell disaster.

AI can generate faulty advice regarding contracts, compliance, or safety protocols resulting in severe consequences for those who rely upon that advice. It is imperative to exercise caution and seek professional advice of a true expert to ensure compliance and reduce the threats.

Executives at JPMorgan Chase, a highly regarded monetary institution, have restricted worker access to AI chatbots. Although the specific purpose for this restriction has now not been disclosed, it may be inferred that concerns over legal implications associated with AI usage within the workplace have been a driving aspect. Given the sensitive nature of the client information handled by JPMorgan Chase, it would be risky to reveal such records to AI models. As a result, the bank has decided to ban AI altogether as a measure to mitigate risks. By means of adopting this technique, JPMorgan Chase demonstrates its dedication to ensuring compliance, protecting client information, and retaining its esteemed reputation inside the enterprise. Safeguarding sensitive records and navigating the regulatory landscape are of paramount significance, motivating the bank to exercise caution in using AI technology.

While a total prohibition from using AI will avoid legal trouble, that level of caution may not be necessary in your particular situation. With the right guidance, executives can integrate AI in the workplace seamlessly to increase efficiency and overall quality of work

Should You Use AI at Work?

While AI does have limitations, it still can be invaluable in the workplace. By recognizing and managing its issues, AI can provide increased productivity, facilitate communique, and offer valuable insights.  Certainly, AI produces content extremely fast.   However, without proper oversight, AI could bombard businesses with unwanted legal troubles.

If you want to learn more about using AI in the workplace and how it could potentially land you in legal trouble, contact us today.

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