Impact of ChatGPT and other AI chatbots on the future of work | CIPD


With developments advancing rapidly, it’s worth understanding how conversational AI like ChatGPT can help us work smarter and what its limitations are. To create a safe environment to learn how to use and innovate with AI, it’s important that functions across the organisation, including HR, collaborate to establish safeguards, standards and guidelines on appropriate use.

Establishing acceptable uses of conversational AI at work

Employers should establish boundaries around acceptable and unacceptable uses. For example, in the case of ChatGPT:

  • Share only non-sensitive information in conversations with ChatGPT. ChatGPT’s FAQs warn users this will not remain private.
  • Limit its use to creating early drafts, and check outputs. ChatGPT occasionally gives inaccurate and inappropriate answers.
  • Don’t rely only on ChatGPT to make important decisions about people, eg hiring and promotion. Beyond assessments, these decisions should be made by people.

As this is a new tool, review your company’s position and policy regularly. When social media first became mainstream, employers had to scramble to figure out the rapid and constantly changing boundaries.

If a particular AI tool is deemed too risky for work purposes, employers may wish to ban its use and block access from company-owned devices and networks. This does not stop employees using it on their personal devices outside company networks, so other monitoring measures may be needed. This may not be a desirable or manageable solution long-term, and should be weighed against a ‘regulated use’ policy.

Initiate dialogue on possible use and impact

Equip people managers to talk to team members who might use conversational AI at work (regular computer users such as legal assistants, digital content creators and market researchers). Discuss what are acceptable uses and opportunities and how this might change work for individuals and teams.

Explore scope to use the time saved for additional tasks or projects, or to retrain or achieve a four-day working week. Technology can impact people in six different ways – Table 2 of the CIPD’s Responsible investment in technology guide gives ideas on what to ask when considering the impact of technology on jobs and tasks.

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