Employer bans of AI at work are being ignored

Sunira Chaudhri

Sunira Chaudhri

Toronto Employment Lawyer

According to Reuters, 28% of employees admitted they regularly use ChatPGT at work. But 10% of those polled admit their employers explicitly banned AI tools in the workplace. And 25% of respondents were unaware if their companies permitted use of artificial intelligence at all.

A recent Reuters IPSOS poll revealed a significant number of U.S. workers are already using the artificial platform ChatGPT to conduct basic tasks at work.

 

According to Reuters, 28% of employees admitted they regularly use ChatPGT at work. But 10% of those polled admit their employers explicitly banned AI tools in the workplace. And 25% of respondents were unaware if their companies permitted use of artificial intelligence at all.

 

It looks like many employers and employees alike are operating in the grey zone.

 

Reuters also reported that major companies like Tinder and Samsung Electronics have a “no ChatGPT rule.” Despite the prohibition, employees of some of these organizations use the technology anyway.

 

One Tinder employee reported that they “used ChatGPT for ‘harmless tasks’ like writing emails, even though the company does not officially allow it.”

 

Some indicated it is also used for “general research” at work.

 

Samsung Electronics banned ChatGPT in the workplace after discovering an employee had uploaded confidential and sensitive code to the platform.

 

I have written many columns on ChatGPT’s controversial and perhaps ill fated introduction to the workplace. But as the polling seems to indicate, ChatGPT in large part received no formal “introduction” to many of our institutions. Instead, ChatGPT has gained entry to our companies by force; courting our employees with dazzling tricks and “hacks” with promises of becoming every worker’s speedy, silent co-pilot.

 

AI is likely already in the driver’s seat in most of our workplaces, management having nodded off long ago to the risks the technology ushers in with it.

 

So, if AI has already become a permanent and eager worker at our companies, then it is due time that employers harness the power of the AI sun instead of pulling the shades down.

 

Companies should take the following steps now:

 

Acknowledge that employees are using artificial intelligence – Call an employee town hall to discuss how AI has been used already in your company. Identify acceptable and off-limit uses for artificial intelligence;

 

Invest in the technology that can power your business and keep your data safe – Do not leave your employees to use free versions of artificial intelligence that could compromise your company’s confidential information;

 

Outline the consequences for misuse of artificial intelligence and enforce your plan – A single misstep when using artificial intelligence could cause serious liability or embarrassment for your company, ensure employees are aware of the discipline that could be imposed if your artificial intelligence policy is not followed;

 

And create a robust artificial intelligence policy now to curtail unauthorized use of these platforms by workers.

 

Artificial intelligence is your only employee that is not on your payroll and can’t be fired. It’s time to find ways to use it to your company’s advantage.

 

Have a workplace issue? Maybe I can help! Email me at sunira@worklylaw.com and your question may be featured in a future column.

 

The content of this article is general information only and is not legal advice.

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