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ChatGPT and your organisation: what are the risks?

30 May, 2023

Welcome to the new age, where artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised communication and interaction.

One such innovation, ChatGPT, has gained rapid popularity for its ability to generate human-like text and engage in meaningful conversations.

ChatGPT is an AI Language Model, commonly known as a chatbot. To us, they seem a bit like a search engine, a text box where you put in a prompt or question. But what happens next is different.

Using the billions of pieces of information provided for the chatbot to learn from, it simply works out which words are most likely to follow from what it’s been asked. Unlike the autocomplete on your phone, however, chatbots can write poems, draw pictures, compose music and much more.

While ChatGPT offers tremendous potential for organisations, it's essential to understand and mitigate the risks of its adoption.

In this blog, we'll explore the potential pitfalls and provide valuable insights on leveraging ChatGPT safely and effectively within your organisation.

But first of all, what can ChatGPT help your organisation with?

ChatGPT can assist organisations in various ways, offering a range of benefits:

  • Enhance customer support by providing quick and accurate responses to inquiries, reducing response times, and improving overall customer satisfaction.
  • Automate routine tasks, freeing up employees' time to focus on more complex and strategic activities. This increases operational efficiency and productivity within the organisation. Microsoft Co-pilot has recently launched with this functionality in place.
  • Serve as a knowledge repository, providing information and guidance to both employees and customers. It can offer personalised recommendations, suggest relevant resources, and facilitate self-service options, enhancing user experiences.
  • Support decision-making processes by analysing data, providing insights, and helping organisations make informed choices. For example, it can spot patterns in data like what times of the day particular products spike in popularity.
  • Acting as a sounding board for ideas and validating decision-making processes.

What are the risks associated with ChatGPT to your organisation?

Bias amplification

One of the risks associated with ChatGPT is the potential amplification of biases.

AI models are trained on vast amounts of data, which may inadvertently include biased content. ChatGPT may unintentionally reinforce existing biases or generate new ones without careful monitoring and curating the training data.

Organisations should regularly evaluate and update their training data to mitigate this risk to ensure fairness and avoid perpetuating discriminatory outcomes.

Copyright infringement

ChatGPT, like any large-language model, isn’t truly creative in the sense that a human can be. In actuality, it’s a product of the data that it is trained on. As such, any output from it might constitute plagiarism and land you in deep water in regards to copyright.

It’s another reason why nothing that ChatGPT creates should be used wholesale.

Trustworthiness and liability

While ChatGPT can provide valuable assistance, it's essential to acknowledge its limitations.

ChatGPT is an AI system that may only sometimes provide accurate or reliable information. Indeed, the version available to the public at publication is trained on data that runs only to 2021 and due to the nature of language models, it values academic papers and fairytales equally,

Organisations must take precautions to prevent potential harm arising from incorrect or misleading responses generated by ChatGPT.

Clear disclaimers, user education, and implementing human oversight mechanisms can help manage these risks, ensuring users are aware of the limitations and not overly reliant on ChatGPT for critical decision-making.

Ethical considerations

Ethics are vital when integrating AI systems like ChatGPT into organisational workflows.

It's essential to consider the ethical implications of automating specific tasks and ensure that human values and principles are upheld.

Organisations must establish clear guidelines on how ChatGPT should be used, defining boundaries and addressing potential issues such as manipulation, misinformation, or unethical content generation.

Regular ethical audits involving diverse perspectives help identify and rectify any ethical concerns. Indeed, AI companies are also working to self-regulate here - you can’t ask ChatGPT for the best way to harm somebody, for example.

Data breaches

For many use cases, implementing ChatGPT involves handling sensitive information, such as customer or proprietary business data.

If not properly secured, this data could be vulnerable to breaches, potentially resulting in unauthorised access, theft, or exposure of confidential information. Indeed, inputting client or employee data into a language model is a misuse of data and can make you liable for GDPR fines.

Tech giants like Samsung and Apple have already banned its use within their organisations because staff members share confidential business information with the platform.

Ensuring robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, and regular security audits, and giving cybersecurity awareness training to all staff can mitigate the risk of data breaches.

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Phishing and Social Engineering

ChatGPT systems are a potential goldmine for phishers and social engineers. At present, large language models like ChatGPT are easily convinced to act in dubious ways.

A few smart prompts to the AI and it can generate realistic phishing email templates or share ideas on how to manipulate workers.

Organisations must educate users about the risks of interacting with ChatGPT, give appropriate phishing training, promote vigilance, and implement measures to verify user identities and prevent fraudulent activities.

In conclusion…

Incorporating ChatGPT into your organisation can bring significant benefits, but being aware of the associated risks is crucial.

By addressing potential pitfalls such as bias amplification, security and privacy concerns, trustworthiness, liability, and ethical considerations, organisations can harness the power of ChatGPT while safeguarding their interests and those of their users.

By maintaining a proactive and responsible approach, organisations can balance utilising cutting-edge AI technology and ensuring a safe and ethical environment for all.

Remember, understanding and managing the risks is the key to unlocking the true potential of ChatGPT within your organisation.

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