Developing a Streamlined Interim Policy for Generative AI: Balancing exploration and Risk Management
Generative AI offers significant opportunities for business transformation through automating content generation, enhancing creativity, and unlocking new revenue streams. As the technology rapidly evolves, directors and business leaders must establish interim policies that facilitate cautious exploration of generative AI, including casual uses within their organisations, whilst safeguarding against potential risks. This article outlines key steps for senior leaders to create a streamlined and pragmatic interim policy, which can serve as a stop-gap measure until a more comprehensive policy is developed and implemented.
Defining Clear Objectives
Begin by outlining the objectives of the interim policy, which should:
- Set the scope and purpose of generative AI within the organisation, including casual uses such as email drafting, marketing copy, and job descriptions.
- Encourage responsible exploration and experimentation.
- Ensure compliance with relevant regulations and ethical guidelines.
Establishing a Simple Governance Structure
Create a simple governance structure that can be quickly deployed to oversee generative AI initiatives:
- Assign an existing leadership team member to oversee generative AI projects and casual uses.
- Develop a basic reporting mechanism to keep the board informed of any generative AI developments or issues.
Fostering Cautious Exploration
To promote a culture of cautious exploration and responsible experimentation with generative AI, consider the following:
- Share resources and online training materials for employees to gain a basic understanding of generative AI, its potential applications, and associated risks.
- Encourage cross-functional collaboration, allowing employees to share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences.
Assessing and Ensuring Quality for Casual Use
Given the potential for generative AI to produce unexpected or undesirable content, it’s crucial to assess and ensure the quality of generated output, even for casual use. To achieve this, the interim policy should:
- Encourage employees to exercise good judgement when using generative AI for casual purposes and double-check the generated content for accuracy and coherence.
- Establish a simple feedback mechanism for employees to report any issues or concerns related to the quality of generated content.
Protecting Sensitive and Personal Information
Generative AI systems may inadvertently generate content that discloses sensitive or personal information, posing risks to privacy and data protection. To mitigate these risks, the interim policy should:
- Remind employees of existing data protection policies and their responsibility to safeguard sensitive and personal information when using generative AI for casual purposes.
- Request employees to report any incidents involving the disclosure of sensitive or personal information generated by AI systems.
Addressing Responsible-Use Considerations
The interim policy should also address the ethical implications of generative AI, such as potential biases, misinformation, and copyright infringement, in both project-based and casual use cases. To do so, include guidelines that:
- Encourage employees to be aware of potential biases in generative AI systems and ensure the content generated is fair and equitable.
- Remind employees to maintain transparency by disclosing when content has been generated by AI, especially in external communications.
- Reinforce the importance of respecting intellectual property rights when using generative AI for content creation.
Monitoring and Adapting the Interim Policy
As generative AI technology continues to evolve, it is important to review and update the interim policy regularly. Consider the following:
- Establish a flexible timeline for reviewing and updating the interim policy, based on industry developments, regulatory changes, and internal feedback.
- Keep the board and senior leadership informed of any developments or issues related to generative AI and casual use cases.
By implementing these streamlined recommendations, senior leaders can develop a pragmatic interim policy that balances casual use of generative AI with risk management. This approach will allow organisations to embrace the potential of AI while maintaining a responsible attitude towards its use.