It seems any time you scan a news site or turn on the television, you hear something new about artificial intelligence (AI). While this may pose exciting new opportunities for your work, we at GP Strategies would like to offer some guardrails around engaging with generative AI to protect yourself, your company, and your clients.
The Need for Thoughtfulness
One of my leaders recently said, “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” That shift in framing created a new perspective around the free versions of generative AI we use today like ChatGPT, YouChat, and Google Bard. Within a few clicks, I can find the open acknowledgment of this in ChatGPT’s website, which states: “ChatGPT… improves by further training on the conversations people have with it” (J, 2023, para. 11). Even if you turn this function off, your inputs are retained for 30 days (J, 2023, para. 2).
Inputting sensitive information into a generative AI is like writing your company secrets in the clouds.
So, what’s wrong with using generative AI in business? If you work in an environment where you communicate any protected information, owned either by your company or by clients, then inputting sensitive information into a generative AI is like writing your company secrets in the clouds. Literally, the storage for free chatbots is cloud-based, and your inputs can later become outputs for another user.
Does this mean I swear off all generative AI and refuse to use it? No. I simply work smarter, and so can you. When using AI in business, we must consider confidentiality, copyright concerns, bias, and accuracy. At GP Strategies, we’ve created a list of Rules of Engagement so anyone can begin engaging with AI and reduce the risks associated with using this technology.
Guidance BeforeEngaging with an AI Tool
Discuss your AI approach with your internal team to assess if it is appropriate to use AI with a specific task or client.
Discuss with clients your plan to implement AI elements in your work until your team leadership agrees.
“I believe AI could enrich our approach on this project. Can we talk about our strategy and how to discuss this with our client?”
Don’t talk casually about AI use in your work. The client may be caught off guard and may not support the use of AI in their work. This could unintentionally affect the client relationship.
Discuss with your clients your interest in using AI as part of your creative process while maintaining client confidentiality.
Hide the fact that you use AI in your creative process.
“I have an idea. Let’s see how AI can help us generate new ideas to enrich this strategy (or topic or point). Let me work on that, then show you some examples, and we can partner together to decide what to use.”
Not sharing the fact that you use AI in your process can erode trust and damage client relationships.
Guidance While Working with an AI Tool
Key Boundary: DO NOT COPY/PASTE INTO OR OUT OF AN AI PLATFORM.
Use generalizations or fictional entities.
Use specific company names.
“… for a large aircraft manufacturer.”
“… for Boeing, Southwest, Delta, etc.”
Create original prompts.
Copy and paste from any client document.
Explain the different components of successful leaders, including leadership mindsets, leadership skills, and how to drive results.
Don’t copy and paste the text from a real leadership course from the company.
Use national regulatory policies and procedures.
Use client-specific policies and procedures.
“What is the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for someone outside an arc flash boundary using OSHA 1910.335?”
“Which safety standards are suppliers responsible for using from the Microsoft Supplier Social and Environmental Accountability Manual?”
Use AI as a brainstorming tool.
Copy and paste any output from AI into any learning components.
Input: Explain the process for repairing a rusted pressure valve for compressed gas in an electrical utility environment. Include the step-by-step procedure for lock-out tag-out and donning appropriate PPE.
Action: Paraphrase and summarize concepts, compare output to how you understand the topic, rephrase how you explain something inspired by the output, and fact check your work with colleagues, subject matter experts, or other resources.
Don’t assume the information is 100% accurate.
Create image prototypes.
Copy and paste image outputs from AI into any learning components.
Ask AI to create an image of a Martian high-fiving an astronaut standing on the moon and then use that image as inspiration to create an image using your own authoring tools.
Don’t ask AI to create an image of a Martian high-fiving an astronaut standing on the moon and then save that image and use it in a design.
Ask AI to craft an agenda by listing all the key points you wish to cover and further prompt it to identify any gaps or to anticipate questions you may receive.
Paste a meeting transcript to generate a summary.
“Outline a 30-minute agenda that covers the best way to improve company sales for a product using these topics: improve product knowledge, understand key sales concepts, and understand how to establish relationships with customers.”
Don’t paste a meeting transcript into any platform to generate a summary of points. This can violate nondisclosure agreements, infringe on intellectual property rights, and increase exposure to privacy and security liability.
Report any mistakes while using AI.
Reporting mistakes to your direct supervisor is an important step in continuing to learn the best practices while using AI in business. Some mistakes could include:
Don’t assume that you have changed the output sufficiently so there is no need to disclose your use of AI.
The Future of Work
By now, we all know AI is here to stay. We’re going to see it integrated into Microsoft and other office work applications, search engines, and as components of websites and apps we use daily. It is an undeniably powerful tool that can help boost creativity and efficiency. However, with power comes responsibility. While this is not an exhaustive list of what to do and what not to do while using generative AI, it can get you started. If you implement these Rules of Engagement, your company can begin harnessing the power of AI in your work thoughtfully and responsibly.
Lorraine Frazier-Aich is a performance improvement professional and award-winning instructional designer with 15+ years of adult learning experience. Her unique problem-solving abilities and collaborative spirit enrich her role as a Learning Content Designer at GP Strategies. She holds a Master’s in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning and a Certificate in Workplace Performance Improvement from the School of Engineering at Boise State University. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband, son, and a couple rambunctious house cats.
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