The Truth about AI in the Workplace

AI or Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the buzzword for 2023. But what do you really know about the truth about AI? What is it all about? What are the risks and benefits of having AI in the workplace? This article hopes to shed light on how Philippine companies can benefit from AI and manage the risks involved in adopting it in the Filipino workplace.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI can be defined as: The ability of a computer system to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.

It applies to developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes of humans:

  • Ability to Reason
  • Discover Meaning
  • Generalize
  • Learn from Past Experience

Inherent to most AI systems is the ability to LEARN.

Referred to as Machine Learning, this pertains to the computer program’s ability to generate insights or predict outcomes based on the data it is provided. For example, a computer program will know what a cat looks like by looking at hundreds, if not thousands, of photos of cats. ChatGPT was trained on at least 570GB of text gathered from the Internet. While some AI can learn by itself, most AI applications were trained by dozens or even hundreds of people.

History of AI

Types of Artificial Intelligence

Narrow AI (Weak AI)

Narrow AI refers to AI systems that are designed to perform specific tasks or functions within a limited domain. These systems are focused on excelling at a particular task rather than possessing general intelligence. Narrow AI is the current form of AI in use today and is applied in various industries such as healthcare, finance, and transportation.

General AI (Strong AI)

General AI refers to AI systems that possess the ability to understand, learn, and apply knowledge across a wide range of tasks and domains. Unlike Narrow AI, General AI aims to exhibit human-like intelligence and cognitive abilities. It would have the capacity to understand natural language, reason, learn from various sources, and perform tasks across diverse domains. As of 2023, General AI is yet to be achieved.

Examples of Narrow AI

Speech Recognition: Detecting and analyzing what a human is saying and converting it to actions/text.

Examples: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant

Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP involves the understanding and interpretation of human language. Includes determining intent, sentiment, meaning, etc.

Examples: IBM Watson, ChatGPT

Computer Vision and Image Recognition: Enabling machines to understand and interpret visual information.

Examples: Tesla Autopilot, Google Lens

Recommendation Systems: Analyzes and cross-references user preferences and behavior and predicts/suggests products that the user might like.

Examples: GoogleAds, Facebook, TikTok, Netflix, Amazon, etc.

Benefits of AI

The Truth about AI

AI offers several benefits across various domains. One of the key advantages is improved efficiency. By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, AI frees up employees to concentrate on more strategic work. This increased efficiency not only leads to higher productivity but also brings about significant cost savings. For instance, AI-powered chatbots, automated data analysis, and document processing are examples of how AI streamlines operations and enhances efficiency in different industries.

Another benefit of AI is its ability to enhance decision-making processes. AI provides data-driven insights and analysis, enabling better-informed decisions. Through predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms, AI can identify patterns and trends in vast datasets, enabling organizations to make informed decisions promptly. Real-time data analysis is particularly valuable, as it empowers businesses to stay agile and respond to changing circumstances. Examples of AI-driven decision-making include recommendation engines used in social media and e-commerce websites, which offer personalized suggestions to users based on their preferences and behaviors.

AI also contributes to increased accuracy and precision in tasks. AI systems can perform operations with minimal errors, eliminating human errors and biases that can impact outcomes. This is particularly relevant in fields such as automated quality control, image recognition, and natural language processing, where AI algorithms can achieve high levels of accuracy and consistency.

Furthermore, AI plays a crucial role in improving customer experience. By analyzing user data and preferences, AI enables personalized experiences. Recommender systems, for instance, suggest relevant products, services, or content based on individual preferences, enhancing customer satisfaction and engagement. Additionally, AI can assist human representatives in real-time interactions, ensuring seamless customer engagement and addressing inquiries promptly.

Lastly, AI drives workplace innovation by augmenting human workers. With AI-assisted systems, employees can focus on the creative, intellectual, and innovative aspects of their work. AI acts as a powerful tool to support and amplify human capabilities, allowing workers to explore new possibilities and push the boundaries of their roles. The uses of AI systems, such as ChatGPT, are only limited by the user’s imagination, highlighting the potential for innovation and transformation in the workplace.

Risks of AI

The widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) poses several risks that need to be addressed. One significant concern is the potential disruption to the workforce. As AI technology advances, there is a growing risk of automation replacing low-skilled and repetitive jobs. This could lead to the redundancy of workers who perform tasks such as first-line customer support, transcription, and inventory management. To mitigate this risk, it is crucial for workers to upskill and reskill themselves to effectively leverage AI in their respective roles and maximize its benefits.

Another important risk associated with AI is the potential for bias and discrimination. AI systems rely on training data, and if the data contains inherent biases, the AI algorithms may perpetuate and amplify these biases. This can result in discriminatory outcomes in areas such as hiring, promotions, and customer interactions. It is essential to address these biases and ensure that AI systems are designed and trained in a way that promotes fairness and equality.

Privacy and security concerns also arise with the use of AI. The collection, storage, and processing of personal and sensitive data by AI systems raise concerns about data protection. There is a risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, and misuse of information, which can have serious implications for individuals and organizations. Appropriate measures need to be taken to safeguard data and ensure that AI systems comply with privacy regulations.

It is oftentimes hard to understand how AI decisions are made.

Lack of transparency and accountability is another significant risk associated with AI. Many AI algorithms operate as black boxes, meaning that their decision-making processes are difficult to understand or explain. This lack of transparency can be problematic, especially in critical areas such as healthcare or finance, where accountability and clear decision-making are crucial. Efforts should be made to enhance transparency in AI systems, enabling users to understand the rationale behind the decisions made by AI algorithms.

Lastly, overreliance on AI systems without human oversight or critical judgment can be risky. While AI technology can provide valuable insights and automation, human judgment and expertise remain essential for responsible decision-making. Relying solely on AI systems may lead to errors or unintended consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to strike a balance between AI and human involvement, ensuring that human judgment is incorporated in the decision-making process and maintaining the overall responsibility and accountability for the outcomes.

Managing AI

Managing AI involves several key considerations to ensure its effective and ethical use within an organization. One important aspect is defining clear objectives for AI implementation. This involves identifying areas where AI can bring significant benefits and aligning those objectives with the overall goals of the organization. It is crucial to use AI in a meaningful and targeted way to maximize its potential.

Ethical considerations play a vital role in managing AI. Adhering to ethical guidelines is essential to prevent biases, discrimination, and other harmful consequences. Establishing ethical frameworks and guidelines specific to AI development and use within the organization is necessary. Additionally, it is important to remain aware that AI systems, especially those developed abroad, may contain inherent cultural, racial, and gender biases. This awareness should be taken into account when analyzing or using the output of such systems.

Data quality and privacy are critical factors in managing AI effectively. AI heavily relies on data, so ensuring its accuracy, integrity, and security is crucial for obtaining accurate and reliable results. Privacy concerns must also be considered when collecting, storing, and processing sensitive data. Protecting privacy rights and complying with data protection regulations is paramount.

The collaboration between humans and AI is another key aspect to consider. AI is most effective when it complements human capabilities rather than replacing them entirely. To facilitate this collaboration, training and support should be provided for effective human-AI interaction. Fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation is important, and employees should be trained on AI-related skills and knowledge. Regular updates to AI systems should be implemented to address risks and leverage opportunities.

Monitoring and mitigating risks associated with AI implementation is a vital responsibility. Establishing monitoring mechanisms for AI system performance allows for ongoing evaluation and improvement. Risks associated with AI implementation should be assessed and mitigated to minimize potential negative impacts. Robust cybersecurity measures should also be implemented to protect AI systems and the data they handle. By addressing these risks, organizations can ensure the safe and responsible use of AI.

AI Tools to Try

Below are just some of the hundreds of AI tools available in the Internet. The tools below will prove useful for day to day office tasks. most of them are free to try or is available at an affordable monthly subscription.

Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that can be embedded on your browser or office software. It reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes in English texts, detects plagiarism, and suggests replacements for the identified errors.

Leonardo is one of many AI image generators that allows you to create photos and artworks based on text prompts.

ChatGPT is currently the most popular AI chatbot. You can do a variety of actions with it such as create articles, analyze unstructured data, and even debug code.

AI Chatbot Philippines

Chaital is an embeddable AI Chatbot built on top of the same engine that powers ChatGPT. Chaital can be customized to answer questions specific to your organization. Use-cases include customer helpdesk, website chatbot, employee assistant.

The Truth About AI

AI is most effective when it complements human capabilities rather than replacing them entirely.”

The truth about AI is that at its current version, it is of little threat to humanity. They are a set of very useful tools that we encourage all workers to try and learn as it can significantly improve your efficiency. Companies should look into adopting AI in there general workplaces but with the awareness that there are risks involved in applying AI. Managing these risks and maximizing the benefits that AI can bring into the organization should be carefully examined and evaluated.

If and when General Artificial Intelligence does come around, it is down to humanity in ensuring that the risks it poses will not be ignored, that proper regulations will be in place globally, and that humans will always be in control.

And if all else fails, pull the plug!

This article was derived from a presentation made by EACOMM Corporation for the Layag Discussion Series hosted by the Department of Interior and Local Government Region IX. Download a PDF of the original presentation here. For more information on how EACOMM can help your organization adopt AI in your workplace email: