Balancing AI bans with innovation opportunities
In a recent survey, 76% of IT decision makers voiced their support for organisations’ authority to regulate the applications employees use for business purposes. However, a significant 66% of respondents found current bans on generative AI to be excessively restrictive.
According to these IT professionals, generative AI holds potential for driving efficiency (53%), fostering innovation (44%), and nurturing creativity (42%) within the workplace.
Stephanie Coward, Managing Director for Human Capital Management at IRIS Software Group, emphasised that an outright ban on AI should only be considered as a last resort. Speaking to HR Magazine, she stated, “AI is an evolving reality, with ChatGPT being just the pioneer among many future innovations. Embracing this technological progression is vital, rather than resisting it out of fear.”
Coward further elaborated that businesses should follow a balanced approach when regulating AI. Establishing clear guidelines through frameworks or codes of conduct, while avoiding excessive rigidity to safeguard creativity, is essential.
Rather than imposing a complete ban on generative AI, Coward recommended a more pragmatic strategy. She advised companies to identify potential use cases and initiate pilot programs to validate the practicality of AI’s promises. This method ensures that risks are comprehensively understood and can be effectively mitigated.
She stressed the importance of creating an internal testing environment, allowing employees to experiment with AI in a controlled manner. This approach, she believes, will lead to greater long-term productivity and a more secure integration of AI tools into daily operations.
Another study conducted by Tech.co in July 2023 revealed that 68% of business leaders believe that employees should use AI with their managers’ consent. Shishir Singh, Chief Technology Officer at BlackBerry, emphasised the need to develop policies around AI as technology advances. He highlighted the potential loss of valuable business benefits if generative AI is entirely prohibited in the workplace.
Singh recommended incorporating flexibility into organisational policies as AI platforms mature and regulations evolve. He emphasised the significance of implementing proper tools for monitoring, managing, and overseeing applications used within the workplace.
The insights from the survey were gathered through research conducted by BlackBerry in June and July 2023, involving 2000 IT decision makers worldwide