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Crafting Effective Generative AI Usage Policies: Dos and Don’ts for Enterprises

Crafting effective usage policies is crucial in responsibly navigating the transformative landscape of generative AI in enterprises, balancing innovation with privacy, compliance, and ethical considerations.
Putting company policies into perspective. Shot of a group of coworkers in a boardroom meeting.

Generative AI technologies have paved the way for a paradigm shift in how businesses operate, innovate, and compete. However, the widespread adoption and powerful capabilities of generative AI also bring about crucial considerations concerning usage, ethics, privacy, and security. A common question for many organizations is whether they should formulate a usage policy for generative AI. This article outlines a set of dos and don’ts for establishing such policies.

Craft a Comprehensive Usage Policy

A well-defined usage policy is paramount to ensure generative AI is used responsibly, ethically, and in line with organizational and legal requirements. Many enterprises might find their employees already experimenting with generative AI tools in their tasks. In such instances, having a clear policy is crucial to mitigate risks associated with unauthorized or “shadow” usage and maintain compliance.

When developing a generative AI usage policy, simplicity and clarity should be key. A comprehensive yet straightforward policy will help ensure understanding and adherence across your organization. It could be as streamlined as a few basic dos and don’ts.

The Dos

Prioritize Privacy

In scenarios where off-the-shelf AI models like ChatGPT are in use, privacy becomes a focal point. Make sure your policy specifies turning off the history function when using external tools that allow such choices. This measure is a critical step in preventing inadvertent storage or access to sensitive data.

Monitor Outputs Closely

AI models, at times, might produce outputs known as “hallucinations,” which are not based on input data. They may also create outputs that contain factual errors or biased or inappropriate statements. Encourage your workforce to closely scrutinize the outputs to prevent the spread of misinformation or inappropriate content.

Adjust Policies Based on Model Type

If your organization uses a proprietary large language model, some privacy concerns related to input limitations may not apply. However, regardless of the type of AI model in use, continuous vigilance over the outputs is vital.

Keep Policies Simple

Remember, the goal of a usage policy is to guide behavior, not to complicate tasks. A simple, clear, and easy-to-understand policy is more likely to be adhered to.

The Don’ts

Avoid Using Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Sensitive Information

To safeguard privacy and comply with data protection regulations, your policy should prohibit the use of PII and sensitive information as input in generative AI models.

Protect Company IP

Intellectual property forms the cornerstone of many businesses. Your policy should clearly state that no confidential or proprietary information should be used as input in generative AI models.

Regularly Review and Update Policies

The rapid pace of AI evolution necessitates that your policies be reviewed and updated regularly to remain relevant and effective. Don’t overlook the importance of adapting your policies as technologies and their implications evolve.

Focus on Clear Guidelines Over Outright Bans

Rather than imposing outright bans on the use of generative AI, which can lead to shadow usage and compliance issues, focus on establishing clear and practical usage policies.

In conclusion, as enterprises navigate the transformative landscape of generative AI, crafting effective usage policies will be instrumental in leveraging these technologies responsibly and efficiently. By integrating these dos and don’ts into your AI governance strategy, you can optimize the benefits of generative AI while minimizing potential risks and challenges.

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