The AI Wild West: Derisk Adoption for Safe Innovation

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is driving innovation. With seemingly endless possibilities, organizations are universally adopting AI to enhance their offerings and keep pace in today’s ultra-competitive market. However, without clear and proper guidelines in place, AI can cause harm, driving unintended customer outcomes, or worse, introducing new security risks and exposures. It’s what’s led to the inception of new US government executive orders, aimed at promoting AI security and trustworthiness for businesses, consumers, and citizens, alike.1

As AI-powered tools and solutions bleed into every area of tech, and society at large, experts advise organizations to embrace a measured and practical approach to AI adoption. In doing so, businesses can drive innovation while derisking themselves from unintended misuse.

Organizational guidelines

From writing code to generating blogs (no, not this one), new AI platforms have democratized the use of artificial intelligence for all. While these tools offer users an open forum to satisfy a wide berth of tasks, they often come without proper business oversight or industry-wide regulations.2 To stay ahead, industry experts recommend instituting organizational-wide policies that put control back into business’ hands:

  • Permitted uses: While AI has tremendous upside, some businesses may consider outfitting it for only a subset of employees. Blacklisting AI platforms for specific user groups helps organizations control widespread or ungoverned access to such tools.3 This minimizes the risk of unmonitored or shadow AI consumption, while strategically applying it to satisfy targeted use cases.
  • Information disclosure: The use of AI can drastically increase areas of exposure. For instance, users sharing trade secrets or proprietary information on Generative AI platforms limits a business’ axis of control—leaving sensitive data and information in the hands of third-party AI models. Best practices suggest instituting guidelines around what information can be shared or utilized by AI. In doing so, organizations can minimize unwanted exposure of critical business information.
  • Checks and balances: To govern AI, experts suggest establishing programs that oversee its use. This includes training employees on proper usage, clearly defining permitted and unacceptable applications of these tools, and implementing reporting protocols to monitor their use in the wild.4 Organizations should also explore policies that enforce employee responsibility and accountability for outputs generated using such platforms.

Predictable outcomes

AI is rapidly evolving, constantly delivering new capabilities to solve difficult business challenges. From copilots to next-gen insights, organizations find themselves in an arms race to deliver AI-powered and -embedded solutions that meet market demands. Yet, blindly adopting these technologies introduces a myriad of risks. Without proper implementation, AI misuse can lead to biased, incomplete, or flawed results that put users or businesses in harm’s way. Industry analysts suggest responsible AI adoption is a measured approach. One where algorithms, attributes, and outputs are explainable, reversible, and properly trained.5 In doing so, organizations can drive human-led, ethical, and transparent outcomes—all without sacrificing innovation or control.

Vendor selection

For many, AI is promoted as the silver bullet businesses need, with each vendor offering a unique service to solve their most critical challenges. With no shortage of options, properly vetting available solutions and platforms is essential. Experts suggest approaching AI toolsets with a discerning eye to ensure the right fit for your business. Organizations should seek vendors with proven track records in AI, strong cybersecurity postures, and clearly demonstrated and documented applications of their technology.6 Furthermore, businesses should not only evaluate domain expertise before implementation—but across the entire solution lifecycle. This includes monitoring newly adopted tools from proof of concept through post-deployment to ensure AI-based services are accurate and functioning as desired.

  1. US Government, Artificial Intelligence Executive Order, 2023
  2. McKinsey, As Gen AI Advances, Regulators Rush to Keep Pace, 2023
  3. Blackberry, Why Are So Many Organizations Banning ChatGPT?, 2023
  4. HR Dive, 7 things to include in a workplace generative AI policy, 2023
  5. Constellation Research, Trust In The Age of AI, 2024
  6. Lexalytics, How to Choose an AI Vendor