Artificial intelligence (AI) in The Workplace
We’ve all heard the term artificial intelligence. And what it’s normally coined as AI. Most commonly, when we think of AI, our minds likely go to our household helpers, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home Mini, and even Siri from Apple. These platforms help us find information, search for programs on the television, and get the latest hot recipe for dinner. What most of us don’t fully consider is AI in the workplace.
Here are a few examples of how artificial intelligence has been employed in businesses of all sizes. The automated phone system that routes callers to the correct person with just a few prompts. This system has and continues to replace a receptionist sitting behind the desk frantically taking calls while still trying to sound pleasant. The automated visitor sign-in system is also kicking out the front desk receptionist. I have several clients that have a single monitor and keyboard that will greet you and request you sign in and then triggers a call to the person you’re meeting.
Computers and notebooks like iPads and Surfaces have replaced problem solving. They now diagnose problems with cars for auto mechanics, are used by artists to enhance our work digitally for a variety of graphic functions and they’re used constantly in the medical field to quickly determine maladies and even perform surgeries. In industries like construction and manufacturing, robots are replacing humans to perform physical tasks like lifting and moving heavy items to avoid injuries. Finally, drones are now something more than just a curiosity. Photographers, videographers, real estate agents, insurance companies, event planners, and countless others use drones to reduce time, improve knowledge, and add value.
All of these and other applications of AI improve businesses in many ways. They do offer risk management challenges. First, in most cases, artificial intelligence is replacing what was once a human job. As companies add more AI, that often means the reduction of employees which is a legal and employee morale threat. Second, with the increase in technology comes the necessity for higher levels of employing knowledge in how to use it. This means additional costs in training, hiring, and putting up with the lack of efficiency during the learning curve timeframe. Third, insurance is sometimes overlooked.
AI can be expensive and your insurance must be programmed to consider the cost to replace it. And the loss of income, if it goes down. Talk to your broker about the physical and income risks associated with your artificial intelligence. Fourth, while you don’t have to worry about physical injuries to AI, they do often suffer other trauma concerning risk. They break down, become obsolete, requires software updates, and sometimes make their human coworkers angry with them.
They’re also at risk to cyber attacks and liability with lost time associated with those attacks. If you think artificial intelligence is prevalent now, wait until you see what happens over the next 10 to 20 years. It’s time to adapt and accept or your company will be left in cyber dust. Here is your challenge. Take 30 minutes to identify all the different ways your company uses artificial intelligence. Next to each one, write down how AI improves the company with that task. Finally, consider the ways that AI might be used in the future in your business and what that means to your employees, clients, and profitability with ai in the workplace 2020.
Challenge Problems for Artificial Intelligence in Workplace
It’s one thing to read about risk management. Don’t get me wrong, you should do that. But let’s do a practical exercise, and specifically, we’ll address artificial intelligence. In this article, I’ll give you a scenario to explain it in a better way.So here is a scenario. Your employee’s online information and behaviors are scraped from social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The cyber criminals then utilize bots, AI, to use the information scraped from the accounts to create custom emails that entice the employee to click a link.
They’re highly sophisticated and look legitimate. Once the employees click, their email accounts are hacked and the bots can send email from them to mimic the writing style of your employees. Your client base and suppliers all receive an email sent from your employees by the cyber criminal’s artificial intelligence robots enticing them to click on a different virus-laden link. Before you know it, your entire supply chain has been affected and been hacked causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and lost time. And it’s all traced back to you. So your assignment is to write out your plan for how you and the company will react to this event. Specify exactly what your next steps are, who is responsible for carrying out the plan, and how you will communicate to those involved.
Solution: AI Risk Solution
So, your employees’ email accounts have been hacked and now your employees, customers, and suppliers are all affected. You’ve written out your plan for dealing with this situation. Let’s see if your plan matches up with how I recommend people deal with such an event. It’s likely that you didn’t have a plan in place or any preventative measures set up for this kind of crisis.
In an ideal world, you would’ve done some pre-crisis planning, so let’s do that now. Pre-crisis, in this situation, involves education of employees, technology infrastructure, and buying cyber liability insurance. When it comes to educating your employees, it’s not just about knowing which links are viruses. It’s also about understanding how social media works on them individually and how their behaviors and habits can impact them personally. For technology infrastructure, you need to stay current with patches, encryption, and maintenance. Hiring or retaining an IT expert and doing regular maintenance is crucial.
Now let’s talk cyber liability insurance. No matter how good your systems and education, companies will get attacked. The financial and reputational consequences can be covered by insurance, but only if you buy it before the crisis. Okay, this is all well and good, but now we’re in crisis mode. You are asked to be specific about next steps, responsibilities, and communications. So, the first thing on your list should be to gather key leaders and experts to assess the damage. Ask, how bad is this situation? Second on your list, assign the following roles and responsibilities. You’ll need a crisis commander. This person is in charge and accountable, however, it does not have to be the CEO.
Assign technology control to someone. They’ll need to combat and fix the problem. Another person will need to take on communications control to create your message to everyone affected. You’ll also need someone to contact the insurance broker and carrier to begin the claims process.
Finally, and this gets missed a lot, have a scribe to keep track of the activities and timelines, as they will be important later. Now, your plan should also incorporate actions for after the crisis has passed. In this case, it’s after you’ve contained and eliminated the breach. Your next step should look something like this.
Figure out what you’re going to tell your supply chain. They will want answers fast. Coordinate between communications and insurance to figure out how to best deal with the situation. Engage and address your employees. Work to be collaborative and empathetic. Now is not the time for finger-pointing and blame. Use this as an educational opportunity. Update your pre-plan. You will have learned a lot from this experience, regardless of how prepared you were. Keep the notes and revise your plan as needed. Now, I hope that if you’re plan didn’t look exactly like this, you at least have an idea of what you should do now before a real crisis happens. With a well-articulated plan, you’ll greatly increase the chance of preventing it and reduce your liability and financial risk.
Identity theft for employees and stakeholders
If there is any one peril that might best define 21st century risk, it’s identity theft. I vividly remember growing up in the 1970s, and watching movies about people that were adept at pretending to be someone else. They were masters of disguise and voice. They were able to easily become someone else, and nobody would suspect a thing. Today, there are real life criminals doing this every single day across the globe. Criminals are breaking into what would seem to be inaccessible vaults in computer systems and swiping personal identifiable information of your unsuspecting employees, clients, and other key stakeholders, including you.
Personal identifiable information includes such things as social security numbers, dates of birth, medical records, driver’s license numbers, bank account information, and passport identification. Criminals use this information to become someone else, to literally steal their identity. They will then apply for loans, get new credit cards, and steal money. They can also wreak havoc on people whose identities were stolen as they try to get their property and identity back.
Here’s why it’s important for you.
Number one, if you’re responsible for the theft, you have legal responsibilities to those people. You may need to pay costs associated with legal, recovery, and monitoring fees.
Number two, if you think an employee’s distracted by social media on your time, think about if they are dealing with an identity theft. Helping employees deal with this is not only good business, but the right thing to do from a human standpoint.
Number three, you’ve seen the reputation and brand damage that hits companies when they are found responsible for data breaches. Financial organizations, retail companies, and the federal government have all been targeted. If you’re a small business and it happens to you, consider the consequences of dealing with it on a local level.
Here are three simple things you can do to help protect yourself, your employees, and your clients from becoming a victim of identity theft.
First, make sure all your technology is fully locked down with encryption and updated patches. Talk to your IT expert about it.
Second, see if you can find an expert on identity theft that can offer an employee benefit for this risk. It can assist your employees by providing help in the event of an identity theft.
Third, educate your employees on how to properly screen emails and other external links, not only at work, but at home. This will go a long way in making sure someone doesn’t inadvertently open the backdoor to a criminal. Identity theft is here to stay. Make sure your company is doing everything it can to protect your most valued stakeholders.
Brand Risk: Social media
When I was a kid there was a famous shampoo commercial where a woman would express her happiness with the product by telling two friends who told two friends and so on and so on as multiple women emerged on the screen, visually showing the power of the testimonial. That 40-year-old commercial is still indicative of the power of brand today; however, the telling has become exponential because of social media. Now you tell 1000 friends and they tell 1000 friends and so on and so on and so on.
Brand protection must be part of a strong risk management program. If a company is not maximizing its message and/or is unaware of what is being said about them on social media, then the consequences on the brand value are significant.
Here are two examples of how your brand can be damaged if you’re not paying attention.
Fake news. If you think that fake news is limited to politics, you’re mistaken. Stories abound of fake news planted in small towns where news spreads faster than wild fire. It might be the brain child of a competitor looking for ways to steal business or damage reputation. Fake news appears in social media through individuals spreading bad information and legitimate sites not checking facts.
Poor reviews. More than ever it’s easy for someone to post a review for a restaurant, hotel, auto mechanic, or any professional or hospitality service online. Social media platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor, they don’t review for legitimacy so it’s up to the readers. The brand damage that can be done by poor reviews can be devastating. Allowing that fire to spread through silence is a mistake. Unhappy former employees. Revenge has been a motivating factor from the beginning of human existence. Never before has it been so easy to exact that revenge than through social media. Vindictive former employees can easily share their side of the story with the world and name names in the process.
It’s the equivalent of holding a one-sided press conference upon leaving the building. And you may be saying, okay Dan, I get it, but how do we combat this? I’m glad you asked.
Here are three simple steps you can take to minimize your risk and improve your response.
Monitor Google Alerts. At least one person should be responsible for monitoring Google Alerts daily. Google Alerts will keep track of your company name and any brands you are worried about when they are mentioned on the internet. This is a free service. You just need to list the names you want Google to follow and alert you when they’re mentioned. The good news here is that you also get notified when there is good news about you.
Be prepared to respond. I’m not talking about fighting with someone on social media. What I do suggest is that someone be given the autonomy to respond correctly to misinformation, to be able to apologize when it’s needed, to say thank you when complimented, and to provide your side of the story without being combative. This might require training, but it’s well worth the investment. If it involves any libelous comments by former employees your response might be a letter to them from your attorney.
Be active. Actively get your brand out there on social media. The more good news that you spread about your product and service the better. Often the best defense is to literally bury any bad reviews or comments with good ones. Promote those tell-all testimonials from happy clients and customers. That way you can use the power of social media to advance your brand. Here’s your challenge, examine how your company is set up to respond to social media issues, both good and bad. Identify areas that might concern you. Then choose just one of my suggestions to start and implement. You will then be well on your way to protecting your most valued asset, your brand and reputation.
Also focus on AI impact about risk financing , risk management globalization and foreign attacks on your business.