The use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools in the workplace is already here and will continue to grow and develop over time.

Do we need a workplace AI policy?

While some employers are seeking to restrict the use of AI in the workplace, other employers are choosing to embrace it, perhaps recognising opportunities to improve work processes and workflows and also, in much the same way as the rise of social media and the internet before that that the continuing growth of AI is to some extent probably inevitable.

From an HR perspective, this development necessitates the creation and implementation of new workplace policies to ensure that businesses and employees use AI tools appropriately.

What kind of information should a workplace AI policy contain?

It is crucial to provide a clear definition of generative AI, outlining what it is, what it isn't, and how, when, and why it should be used.

Well drafted AI polices will clarify the circumstances in which AI can be used and also help businesses and organisations to protect sensitive information, prevent copyright violations, and encourage the honest and accurate use of information. Data privacy is a key concern, as generative AI constantly learns from user-provided information, potentially exposing personal data to public access if adequate safeguards are not put in place.

Companies need to establish clear policies regarding trade secrets, personal information, and generative AI use to prevent data privacy issues.

Are there any particular legal concerns relating to the use of AI in the workplace?

Unfortunately, yes and we’ve already hinted at some of the key legal issues and concerns above. To avoid copyright violations and the potential spread of misinformation, businesses and organisations need to be clear about the limitations, potential biases, and uncertainties of AI-generated outputs. Employees need to be made aware that AI can and sometimes that it does generate inaccurate information and that they should not rely on it without critical evaluation.

In addition, there’s already plenty of evidence that AI algorithms can reinforce biased or discriminatory practices depending on what it’s being asked to do and where it is getting its prompts and core data and information from. Equally, using AI for employee monitoring can create data protection compliance issues and also reveal confidential personal information. Companies will need to address these concerns in their AI policies and ultimately via staff training.

Please contact Nathan Combes if you’d like more information about the issues raised in this update and/or or to find out more about our own AI and data protection related policies and advice that we’re able to provide.

Disclaimer: the information set out above does not constitute legal advice and it is provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given and neither the author or Legal Studio shall be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical, or other errors or omissions within the information provided.

Posted By: Nathan Combes
Posted: 23 October 2023