ChatGPT: five uses for businesses and the ethical considerations that must be front of mind

Categories: Salford Business School

As OpenAI’s ChatGPT continues to make waves, with the world becoming somewhat obsessed with the AI (artificial intelligence) program, experts from University of Salford Business School are calling on business leaders looking to capitalise on the technology to streamline, to ensure ethical considerations are rooted in every decision they make.

The AI software is already breaking records after amassing a user base of 100 million within just two months of launching and, upon confirming its integration with Microsoft’s Bing recently, one million people signed up to its waitlist within just two days of making the announcement.

We’ve already seen social media and the news light up with fresh concerns daily and many expressing genuine fears that ChatGPT could very well replace them at work, putting their job in jeopardy in an already challenging landscape to navigate for workers. However, while the technology edges another step closer to disrupting the modern world as we know it and can be incredibly valuable for businesses looking to streamline, it’s important to remember it is still in its infancy with many limitations that must be considered if businesses want to continue operating ethically.

From saving a significant amount of time, plus driving efficiency and productivity, to supporting employees when it comes to alleviating their workload, open source AI like ChatGPT will certainly be valuable to businesses now it’s made considerable progress in terms of ease of use and capability.

In the future, many will certainly see changes to the nature of their work, with this technology able to support them with some jobs. However, there will be a skillset required to manage this type of application and to handle some of the more complex tasks within roles. Dr Maria Kutar, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems, and Dr Gordon Fletcher, Salford Business School Lead for Research, explore where this technology could ease workloads; while highlighting the moral principles that will need to be navigated in tandem with each task.

  1. Copywriting and being mindful of bias

From long-form report generation to writing a short blog or perhaps even just a tagline, ChatGPT can be an incredibly useful tool to help lift the load on copywriting. There’s scope to feed in/train the technology on house styles and opportunities to develop content that could spark a wider conversation around something thought-provoking. However, it’s important to remember any written content will need to be reviewed with a fine toothcomb and it will likely still require some editing. Responses may exhibit bias depending on the training dataset, so a human eye will be needed to examine equality, diversity and inclusion aspects. It’s important to be mindful of potential bias in any messaging/language and also to fact check as it has been known to make errors; some of its responses have been somewhat questionable and could be seen as biased, and businesses must review content to ensure it meets their own expected standards.

  1. Data analysis while respecting privacy laws

Data analysis can be a bit of a minefield, especially for organisations that don’t have access to Data Scientists/Analysts or software to assist with this. But, ChatGPT could well provide some support, helping to determine any trends in your datasets with a critical view. It is however essential that organisations are careful on the type of data they’re inputting into ChatGPT and that privacy and data laws remain front of mind to avoid any GDPR breaches for instance. It’s also worth noting that, while it can certainly help streamline and automate certain elements of a Data Scientists/Analysts job, the capabilities of the technology are limited and it has been known to make some errors, so it isn’t yet a replacement for specialist knowledge.

  1. Coding while adhering to programming ethics

AI platforms like ChatGPT can also be great tools to assist with code generation and code corrections, while also assisting with bug detection, having the potential to save the likes of Software Engineers and Programmers a considerable amount of time. The tool has already proven particularly valuable for fixing issues Engineers/Programmers may well have otherwise struggled to get to the bottom of.

In addition, driving efficiency and improving productivity are things most businesses are striving for, making platforms of this nature incredibly valuable. It is however important that programming ethics, such as respecting privacy and confidentiality, plus creating safe software, are at the forefront of the activity.

  1. Improving customer experience, but remaining authentic

For any successful business to thrive, having a deep understanding of their customers is crucial – and ChatGPT can really help to expand this. Creating marketing personas to optimising content for search engines are all possible. In tandem with this, it can also help businesses to reach new customers, in turn driving sales and ultimately revenue. Furthermore, the technology can help with everything from shaping strategies to supporting vision/idea generation and even ensuring creative concepts resonate with the target audience, plus supporting on product development and ultimately helping to improve overall customer experience.

The opportunities with ChatGPT are vast. But, ensuring your approach to customer experience remains authentic to your business and meaningful to consumers will still require that human touch.

  1. Policy generation and operating ethically

Policy generation can be quite a lengthy task and a rather large undertaking for various reasons. However, ChatGPT can really help ease the load on policymakers, particularly when developing policies in different styles and tones. It is however worth noting that the technology, like concerns with other notable AI products (for instance self-driving cars) has no conscience. So, human ethics will still need to be applied to ensure policies serve their purpose and meet business needs, while having integrity and are fair. This is particularly important for HR policies and ensuring they don’t discriminate, hold any bias and protect employees, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

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