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Insights and articles related to knowledge management, information security, technology, data and analytics, business process automation, platform management, and other related topics, from our experienced team of consultants.

Why your organization needs an AI Policy

Having an AI policy is no longer optional for organizations. Read FireOak's tips for crafting an organizationally-appropriate AI policy.
Picture of Abby Clobridge

Abby Clobridge

Abby Clobridge is the founder of FireOak Strategies. She works with clients around the world to enhance how organizations manage, secure, and share their knowledge. You can reach Abby at [email protected].

Since late 2022 when ChatGPT became publicly available, the pace of change with respect to integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace has been staggering. From its potential to streamline internal processes to accelerating the development of new products and services, AI offers a huge range of potential benefits to organizations of all types and sizes. However, harnessing the power of AI comes with a substantial set of ethical and legal considerations, trepidation from staff, and change management challenges. Having a well-defined AI policy and addressing AI as part of your organization’s broader information and data governance program can make all the difference between successfully adopting AI in controlled, purposeful ways or creating an organizational mess.

Why your organization needs an AI policy

The Importance of an AI Policy

As AI technologies continue to advance and become more sophisticated, it is important for each organization to establish clear boundaries and guidelines for their use. A policy should reflect your organization’s current approach to AI — for instance, are you encouraging the use of AI? Allowing it under certain circumstances and/or via specified tools? Or are you taking a firm stance against AI? (We have thoughts about all of these approaches, but we’ll have that for a future blog post!) 
For organizations where at least some AI use is permitted, an AI policy serves as a framework to address ethical and legal considerations, ensuring that AI is deployed responsibly and in alignment with the organization’s values and principles. By setting these guidelines, organizations can mitigate potential risks, such as privacy breaches, algorithmic bias, and unintended consequences.
If your organization is not allowing any adoption of AI, that too should be clearly defined in a policy so staff are aware of the organization’s stance.

Developing the AI Policy

An AI policy should be treated much like any other information/data governance policy and should follow the framework already established for policies that define how information, data, and knowledge are managed and secured – i.e., the Data Classification Policy, Acceptable Use Policy, and other cybersecurity-related policies.

An AI policy should be comprehensive and applicable across all departments and functions within the organization. Due to the divisive nature of AI in the workplace, it might be helpful to involve input and buy-in from various stakeholders, including employees, customers or clients, Board members, and partners. By getting input as part of the policy development process, organizations can ensure that the policy addresses diverse perspectives and concerns, promoting a more inclusive and responsible AI strategy.

What to include in an AI Policy

Scope and Audience

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