Navigating the Future of Generative AI

As the number of generative AI tools continues to proliferate, companies must determine the risks and rewards of using the technology as well as design a framework for implementation

When it comes to generative artificial intelligence (GAI), there is no going back. The genie is out of the bottle and companies must now grapple with a number of big questions. For example, what guardrails should be put in place for employees looking to take advantage of AI’s tremendous potential? Do the risks associated with the emerging technology outweigh the benefits? Is there a way for humans and machines to co-exist in a mutually beneficial relationship?

GAI is different from what many people think of when it comes to AI. Instead of the human-like robots that are often portrayed in movies and the media, generative AI is a form of machine learning that can produce content – including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos – more quickly than humans can on their own. Which makes their use enticing.

Guidance principles for corporate use of AI

Implementing appropriate guidelines allows companies to use the power of generative AI while reducing the risk of being affected by its negative aspects. While no set standard will work for all companies, guidelines should adhere to three principles.

Principle 1: Be AI-safe and secure

When you submit a question to tools like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Claude AI, that information is stored and used to train it further. Once businesses send information to these tools, they effectively hand over that data to an external entity and lose control over its use. And that has consequences.

“If you’re in healthcare, finance, or any other regulated environment, there are severe implications for misuse of the information you’re in charge of,” says Post. “Those types of organizations should not jump in until they have been properly trained and have guardrails put in place.”

LLMs can also open the door to intellectual property theft because people unwittingly give them proprietary information such as trade secrets, company financial data, personally identifiable information from clients, and customers, and much more.

Safety, security, and privacy comprise the first guiding principle and ensure employees do not input anything into a generative AI tool that they should not share.

A collaboration between bytes and brain

The guidance principles are meant to raise awareness about the current state of AI tools. Humans will need to learn to work with AI, not rebel against it.

“It’s a bytes and brains collaboration,” says Dr. Norrie. “We must figure out the machine instead of letting the machine figure us out. It is best to establish your AI guidelines while you’re developing your own knowledge and understanding of how you plan to govern and regulate its use.”

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