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July 05, 2023

Should Your Team Use ChatGPT? Pros and Cons

Wondering how ChatGPT fits into your business? Forbes says big companies like Salesforce, Bain & Company, and Instacart are embracing ChatGPT. However, Business Insider says Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and other big companies have banned employees from using ChatGPT. What should your company do? Before you decide whether to let your team use ChatGPT, you need to know the pros and cons.

Pro: ChatGPT can free up time.

What if every employee could have a personal assistant who summarized reports, wrote emails, brainstormed ideas, and created schedules? With ChatGPT, this is possible. Anyone can use ChatGPT’s free option as a virtual assistant. You can even use ChatGPT to write code and copy.

With ChatGPT, workers could be much more productive. Some people are concerned it might even replace workers, leading to layoffs in the near future. In fact, Bloomberg says IBM is freezing hiring for jobs that AI could do.

Con: You can’t trust ChatGPT.

If one of your employees frequently spouted lies instead of doing real research, you’d probably want to terminate that employee. ChatGPT is known for lying – only people usually call it hallucinating. When asked for examples, it will often simply make them up. Ars Technica says a lawyer cited six fake cases that ChatGPT made up. He’s now facing punishment and says he regrets using generative AI to supplement legal research.

ChatGPT also makes up information about real people. Reuters says an Australian mayor was considering a defamation lawsuit after ChatGPT falsely claimed he’d served time in prison for bribery, whereas Variety says a radio host has actually filed a lawsuit over fabricated legal claims.

Pro: ChatGPT can give advice.

Running a business requires a lot of decisions, which is something ChatGPT can help with. According to Futurism, one man even used ChatGPT to launch a new business with only a $100 investment. He told the AI program to create a business plan to make as much money as possible. He then followed the advice on what type of business to set up, what domain to use, what logo to have, and more.

Con: ChatGPT might expose your data.

You might give ChatGPT code to fix bugs or financial information to gain suggestions for business plans. If you give ChatGPT your sensitive information to help it generate a response, you probably want that information to be secure – but it might not be.

OpenAI says a bug allowed some ChatGPT users to see the chat history of other users. The bug has since been patched, but it has raised data privacy concerns.

These data privacy concerns are one of the key reasons why some companies have decided not to allow workers to use ChatGPT. According to Bloomberg, Samsung prohibited workers from using ChatGPT after a worker uploaded sensitive code to the platform.

Pro: ChatGPT can create content.

ChatGPT can write articles, essays, letters, emails, web copy, and even code. In the past, businesses would have needed to pay a high price to buy such content. With ChatGPT, you can receive an endless stream of free content and code of at least decent quality.

Con: Your company might not own the content ChatGPT creates for you.

If employees write content in the course of their regular job duties, their employers can often copyright it under work-for-hire principles. However, when ChatGPT creates content, you may have no legal claim to it.

This is a highly contentious topic – and one that is still developing, although there is already some precedent. After initially granting copyright protection to Zarya of the Dawn (a comic book featuring images created with generative AI), the U.S. Copyright Office has revoked the copyright for the images. Only works created by humans are eligible for copyright protection. Under the current interpretation, this means content created by generative AI cannot be copyrighted.

Many companies would prefer to have copyright protection for their content to prevent others – including their competitors – from using it. However, copyright issues are not the only problem with AI-generated content.

We’ve already discussed how these tools tend to fabricate information; there’s also evidence that AI content generators may commit plagiarism. According to Futurism, AI-generated articles published by CNET contained numerous errors as well as significant structural and phrasing similarities to other articles. No credit was given, which could be considered plagiarism.

The problem may stem from the way these tools work. Generative AI models are trained on content created by others, typically without the consent of the original creators. This has led to allegations of copyright infringement. Harvard Business Review says lawsuits against generative AI companies have already been filed.

The Final Verdict on ChatGPT

Should you allow your team to use ChatGPT? Maybe – but cautiously. There are many advantages – in fact, generative AI may well be the way of the future. However, if you’re planning to let your team use these tools, you need to proceed carefully to minimize the risks.

  • Assess and understand the risks involved with using ChatGPT for business operations. Depending on your business, you may face exposures related to quality control, privacy and intellectual property, among others.
  • Create policies outlining precisely what employees are and are not allowed to do. For example, can workers give ChatGPT company information? Can they use ChatGPT to write articles or client communications? Should they use ChatGPT to organize data?
  • Help your workers use ChatGPT safely and effectively. These AI tools are new, so many of your workers may not know how to use them. Consider creating training materials or hosting training sessions.
  • Consider getting a paid version of ChatGPT. A paid version may enable privacy features not available in the free version.
  • Keep the dialogue open. Once you have a policy in place, you need to make sure your employees know it. Explain why certain restrictions exist so your team understands the risks. Continue to talk to your team about how they’re using ChatGPT and what successes and frustrations they’re experiencing. This will help you refine your policies and strategies going forward.
  • Embrace transparency. When people think they’re dealing with humans and then find out they’re actually dealing with AI, they can feel deceived. Hiding your use of ChatGPT could alienate customers, and it could even lead to disputes with partners, clients and vendors. If you’re going to use ChatGPT, you may want to be open about it and include disclosures in your contracts. This will also give you the opportunity to position your AI usage in a positive light.

New technology like ChatGPT is creating both opportunities and risks. Heffernan Insurance Brokers can help your business manage its risks with tailor-made insurance packages. Learn more.

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