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Top five concerns of using GenAI for professional work

These common concerns underscore the need for industry-specific GenAI tools in your work

The integration of GenAI into professional settings comes with a set of concerns that cannot be overlooked. From ethical considerations to accuracy and reliability and even the potential displacement of human workers, it is crucial to address these apprehensions head-on.

The Thomson Reuters Institute released a report based on a survey of professionals in service industries including legal, tax and accounting, risk and fraud, and government. The report, “2024 generative AI in professional services,” highlights how professionals perceive GenAI in their workplace and its impact on a wide range of work attributes.

 

In the report, we see that professionals meet GenAI's introduction into specific industries with hope and excitement, as well as some concern. Below are professionals’ top five concerns for using GenAI.

Concerns around unethical uses of GenAI

One of the most pressing concerns is the potential for using GenAI systems unethically. The rapid advancement of GenAI has raised questions about the possibility of people using it for unethical or even illegal purposes, such as surveillance, manipulation, and discrimination. Recently, multiple state bar associations have issued opinions around the ethical uses of GenAI to their members.

As GenAI becomes more integrated into various industries and aspects of daily life, the potential for biased or discriminatory decisions is a major concern. Additionally, the lack of transparency and accountability in the development and deployment of GenAI can lead to unintended consequences and harm to individuals and society as a whole.

When using GenAI in professional work, it is essential to be aware of ethical guidelines and regulations put in place to ensure that the technology is used responsibly and for the benefit of all.

Concerns about GenAI's accuracy

Another concern of professionals using GenAI is its potential to spread misinformation. GenAI systems can be trained on biased or inaccurate data, and they may not be able to understand the context of information, which can lead to incorrect results. Additionally, the speed and automation of GenAI can make it difficult to discern the truth from misinformation.

To address this concern, it is vital to ensure that the GenAI technology you use is trained on high-quality data and is programmed to be transparent and accountable.

When selecting the right generative AI tool for your work, it's crucial to consider several key aspects to ensure the technology aligns with your organizational values and needs.

  • The tool adopts a human-centric design approach. This means the AI should prioritize safety, privacy, and accountability, and its processes should be transparent and explainable. This approach helps maintain trust and understanding in AI-driven decisions. 
  • The AI is secure and trusted. Ensure it has a clear architecture that prevents the retention or misuse of customer data.
  • The tool should embody inclusive innovation. It must serve diverse global markets with a design to reduce biases using inclusive data sets. This not only enhances the tool's effectiveness across various demographics but also reinforces ethical AI use in your operations.
  • The AI was created with the involvement of domain experts. These experts possess deep insights and understanding of unique challenges and requirements, enabling them to guide the AI to address the most relevant problems. Moreover, their expertise is invaluable in the testing and evaluation phases, where they assess the quality and accuracy of the AI-generated results. This collaboration ensures that technology not only performs optimally but also aligns closely with practical, real-world demands.

Concerns with over-reliance on GenAI

While GenAI has the potential to greatly enhance our capabilities, it is important to be mindful of the risks associated with over-reliance. GenAI systems are often designed to perform specific tasks efficiently but may lack the flexibility and adaptability to handle unexpected situations or make nuanced decisions, which can lead to errors or suboptimal outcomes, especially in critical or high-stakes scenarios.

Over-reliance on GenAI can also lead to a decline in critical thinking skills among humans. Concerns exist about the potential replacement of human reasoning; to be "controlled by computers." There is the challenge of preserving human values and ethics as GenAI becomes more advanced. Since GenAI systems are not currently able to fully understand or appreciate human values and ethics, outputs may not align with human values. This misalignment could negatively impact our society and way of working.

Balancing the benefits with careful consideration of ethical, social, and economic implications is crucial to ensure that GenAI serves as a tool that enhances human capabilities rather than undermining them.

Job displacement due to GenAI

According to the Thomson Reuters Institute report, 15% of respondents are concerned with GenAI's potential for job displacement. 

GenAI has the potential to automate many tasks that are currently performed by humans. These include tasks that are routine and repetitive, as well as tasks that require a high degree of precision. As this technology continues to develop, more and more jobs will likely have the potential to be automated.

However, GenAI is not bad news for professionals. It has the potential to create new jobs and to make existing jobs more efficient and productive. For example, professionals can use it to automate common time-consuming tasks, freeing them up to focus on more creative and strategic work. This additional time saved can also open up new opportunities, which can lead to business growth.

To prepare for the impact of GenAI on the workforce, companies need to start planning now. Preparation includes investing in GenAI training and development for their employees, as well as developing strategies — like retraining employees — to mitigate the risks of job displacement.

By taking steps such as those noted above, organizations can help ensure that they are prepared for the impact of GenAI on the workforce and can capitalize on new opportunities.

Privacy and security remain a top concern

The adoption of GenAI technologies raises significant privacy and security concerns. The generative AI report reveals that a majority of working professionals are troubled by these issues, with 68% expressing concerns over data security and 62% wary about the privacy and confidentiality of data. This unease is understandable, given the sensitive nature of the data handled across various sectors, necessitating robust security measures. As professionals increasingly rely on GenAI for their work, protecting sensitive information against unauthorized access is crucial to maintaining trust and integrity in professional services.

It is becoming increasingly important for professionals to use secure, industry-specific GenAI technology that upholds ethical standards in development and deployment, reinforcing the reliability and credibility of the services they provide and avoiding costly errors such as financial loss, legal repercussions, or damage to professional reputations.

Maintain trust with revolutionary AI technology 

Thomson Reuters is dedicated to the highest standards of data security and ethical innovation, ensuring that every aspect of our AI technology is transparent, traceable, and built with a human-centric approach to protect privacy, maintain trust, and alleviate concerns.

It doesn't stop there. We continue to commit to a future of responsible AI development , with over $100M invested annually to integrate AI into our flagship solutions so that you stay at the forefront of your industry with the most advanced, trustworthy tools.

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