Businesses need to have robust company policies that guide employee behavior. Handbooks and training materials teach workers at an organization about what the company expects from them. These policies can be very exhaustive and may address situations that the average worker likely never experiences, like an interview request from a local media outlet.
Organizations typically have rules about appearance and job performance. Policies addressing social media use and reporting misconduct internally are also quite common. These policies both help guide worker conduct and limit company liability for worker actions if they violate established company rules. As technology and culture change, the provisions included in employee handbooks must change as well. Businesses may want to consider adding a policy about artificial intelligence (AI) use.
Why is AI a concern?
AI has become a popular tool for people in a variety of fields. There are AI programs that help generate works of art and others that produce text. AI can help analyze data or fill in blanks during creative pursuits, like digitally altering video footage.
There are many reasons why worker utilization of AI could prove problematic for the company employing them. Having AI type out appointment notes, for example, might lead to the software accessing private medical information. The potential exists for the worker to unintentionally violate patient privacy laws by using AI software.
The use of AI to compose emails, memos and even reports might mean that workers don’t fully engage in their jobs. Although people tend to trust it, AI does sometimes make mistakes when giving information or producing text. There have already been some professionals who have lost their licenses over the improper use of AI for crucial job functions.
Clear policies on when the company allows the use of AI for any work-related purposes can help limit an employer’s exposure. Issues ranging from privacy violations to intellectual property claims might arise because of AI use in the workplace. Companies need to consider ethical issues and legal compliance when establishing AI policies.
This area of law has just begun to develop, and, therefore, policies may require revision as statutes and case law develop in the future. Keeping employment materials like handbooks as up-to-date as possible can protect companies by limiting liability and creating clear expectations for workers.