Organizations Are Unleashing the Power of AI in the Workplace

By Kirsten Ellis posted 08-10-2023 01:35 PM


Businesses are discovering innovative ways to utilize technology every day and will continue to do so, from selling products to staffing and recruitment technology. Many organizations have embraced artificial intelligence (AI), which is, without a doubt, altering the world as we know it.  

About 80% of Fortune 1000 companies have an ongoing investment in AI, according to a 2023 survey by NewVantage Partners, a global consultancy that provides data-driven services. Among small businesses, 39% say they are using AI to help save time, according to American Express’s recent Small Business Financial Confidence Report. 

AI is being used in novel and dynamic ways, and while chatbots like ChatGPT have generated most of the recent buzz, AI’s applications are numerous.  

A Range of Benefits  

AI has become an integral part of many modern workplaces, including in the areas of customer service, research, and data analysis. By automating routine tasks and streamlining workflows, AI can help improve efficiency and productivity, promoting profitability. For example, fast food kiosks have arrived, allowing employees to concentrate on filling orders rather than accepting them.  

Large chunks of data, including customer information, can be analyzed in mere seconds with the help of AI, which is especially useful when conducting large surveys or research that could otherwise take a person hours or weeks. An employee can spend more time and energy analyzing and forecasting the data than simply entering it.  

AI can be efficient at recognizing irregular patterns and alerting users to possible fraud. It may also recognize trends that humans miss, enabling a business to explore a new market or address weaknesses. 

Some experts, including a Nobel Prize-winning labor economist, are projecting that AI could increase productivity to the point that a four-day workweek may become the new standard. 

Legal Considerations 

Compliance and labor laws probably aren’t the first thoughts that come to mind with AI, but perhaps they should be. Potential bias and discrimination in the hiring process due to the use of AI software prompted Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance in May 2023. New York City passed an AI anti-bias law that went into effect in July 2023.  

Also, earlier this year, the European Union took steps toward regulating AI use by businesses with what it calls the first comprehensive law on AI by a major regulator anywhere. The law, which is awaiting final approval, would, among other things, ban actions such as classifying people based on socio-economic status or personal traits and subject applications like resume-scanning tools to legal requirements. 

Additional potential benefits and pitfalls of AI are addressed in this Employers Council article. Our recently added handbook document gives an overview of legal and administrative considerations, specifically as they relate to the use of content-generating AI, and includes a sample policy. We will also be presenting on the benefits and challenges of AI in the workplace during the Employers Council 2023 Employment Conference on August 24 and 25 in Denver. 

Responsible use of AI holds tremendous promise for businesses of all sizes and sectors. If you have any questions about AI practices, please email Employers Council’s Member Experience Team.