How SMBs can responsibly unlock the opportunities of AI

We’ve seen incredible advancements in artificial intelligence this past year, with generative AI tools such as Bard, ChatGPT and Midjourney unlocking a whole new world of possibilities for brands and businesses

How SMBs can responsibly unlock the opportunities of AI

We now live in a world where everyone can work more productively and efficiently thanks to AI. As such, we’re already seeing companies of all types begin to explore how they can integrate these tools into their workplace to support and enhance the efforts of their employees.

However, while these recent technological developments are exciting, they also take us into uncharted waters. As the use of these tools accelerates, it raises questions about the impact of AI on our careers, intellectual property and even the environment.

So, it’s crucial for leaders to consider the many intended – and unintended – consequences of deploying AI, to ensure it’s done in the best possible way. This means ensuring deployments are rooted in trust, privacy and align with the company’s values.

That’s why the AI adoption journey for small or medium-sized business (SMB) needs to start with leaders and employees first working to understand where AI will be the most useful – and root its use in strong, value-based principles.

The new AI paradigm

Time has always been a fleeting resource for SMBs, however, the modern AI tools are starting to turn the tide. One Censuswide study even found that UK employees who’ve embraced AI save an average of 1.55 hours every day!

Many of these AI tools currently function like digital assistants, suited to administrative tasks and the more formulaic elements of roles. For instance, generative AI tools such as Writer can help professionals craft industry-specific marketing emails, while others, such as Gong, can highlight crucial customer call points.

However as AI adoption increases, SMB leaders need to consider the best ways to implement AI solutions, as, if used incorrectly, they can result in poor user experiences and even incorrect information being shared.

Rooting AI in your business values

AI might be exciting and powerful, but it needs to be used responsibly. So, if businesses hope to set the right foundation for its long-term use, they need to root the tools in principles consistent with their values. And as is the case with any groundbreaking piece of technology, getting it right early requires a thoughtful approach and implementation framework.

For example, at Dropbox, one of our key values is to be worthy of trust. That’s why we recently unveiled our AI Principles in conjunction with the release of our Dropbox Dash and Dropbox AI offerings – to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to exploring AI ethically.

We developed these principles to serve as a north star for our teams as we continue develop AI products and features responsibly in the years to come. They are: 

  • Leverage AI to serve our customers.
  • Keep customers in control of their data.
  • Be transparent about how we use AI.
  • Champion fairness in AI technology
  • Be accountable to our customers.
  • Respect people, their safety, and their rights

These principles will, of course, be different for each organisation. This new era of AI has only just arrived, and so businesses – especially SMBs – must take the right initial steps and lay a solid foundation for this technology.

Andy Wilson
Andy Wilson

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