Why Your Organization Needs an AI Policy
At this point, you've heard of, are planning to, or are already using artificial intelligence (AI) in some way as part of your work and personal life. Vendors are speeding to market with new tools and feature upgrades, and industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and retail are already realizing AI’s benefits.
With the good comes the bad. In the case of AI, it can bring significant risks if not properly managed, especially around issues relating to ethics, data privacy, and compliance. Organizations that use AI solutions without proper guidelines and expectations put themselves and their stakeholders at risk.
That is where an AI policy comes in. Yes, another policy. And your organization’s AI policy is not one you want to ignore or push off. An AI policy, also known as an AI acceptable use policy, outlines how these tools will be used and what safeguards will be in place. Keep reading to see why an AI policy is crucial and guidance on how to create one.
Clear Guidance for Users
Not all AI tools are the same. The tools that work well for your organization or specific departments, may not for others. While we would like to assume that AI tools are created for the good of all users, they may not be. You'll want to vet the tools and provide guidance to your users about which tools are approved by the organization.
As AI becomes mainstream there could be an assumption that the machine is always right, but it's not. You will want to put in policies and processes to avoid the pitfalls of reliance on artificial intelligence versus human intelligence.
Avoid Security and Compliance Headaches
No surprise that AI applications raise cybersecurity and regulatory challenges because they rely heavily on the data being ingested. Your customers, partners, and vendors may require you to provide transparency when AI is used. An AI policy helps address data privacy concerns by outlining what data is appropriate for AI use and what’s not. If you’re in a heavily regulated industry like healthcare, you want to make sure everyone clearly understands the acceptable use cases for AI.
Protect the Organization
At the end of the day, a policy is your organization’s safeguard if something goes awry. You know what the lawyers say, “Get it in writing.” Almost every day, a new AI tool or feature upgrade gets rolled out, so it’s best to decide on your AI acceptable use policy as soon as you can. It’s your duty to protect yourself, your clients, and your partners and an AI policy is a step in the right direction.
Best Practices for Writing an AI Policy
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating your policy:
- Involve stakeholders: Get input from all relevant stakeholders, including compliance officers, IT, security, operational managers, and legal counsel.
- Avoid Jargon: Write in clear, understandable language accessible to everyone in your organization.
- Address specific risks: Include risks and compliance requirements related to your organization and industry.
- Review and update regularly: Keep your AI policy up to date as new threats emerge and AI technologies like Microsoft 365 Copilot hit the market.
Create an AI Policy
An AI policy outlines your organization’s stance on AI. Where you fall depends on your size and industry. Follow the best practices outlined in this blog to create an AI policy that demonstrates commitment to safe and responsible use of AI technology.
Use this AI policy template to get started now. Download a copy to begin using AI technology responsibly, ethically, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If you need help creating an AI policy or evaluating AI tools and strategies, contact us.