Why CMOs Should Lead in Setting Guidelines for the Use of Language Models Like ChatGPT

You’re a marketing pro. You know the ins and outs of your industry, can craft a killer campaign, and have a knack for understanding what your audience wants. You’ve seen the digital landscape shift, witnessed the rise of social media, and have probably had to pivot your strategy more times than you can count. But now there’s a new player on the field: Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, Generative AI language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. They are transforming how businesses communicate, advertise, and interact with their customers.

As businesses hurry to incorporate and adapt to this AI revolution, some notable missteps are occurring. There have already been instances of employees inadvertently divulging confidential company information. These developments are clear alarm bells for every CSO and CTO.

Before these AI-related issues become more complex, it’s imperative for CMOs to intervene. Now is the time to establish clear, strategic guidelines for the utilization of AI within your organization. In doing so, we can ensure that AI is an asset driving growth and innovation, rather than a risk we failed to manage effectively.

The Power of AI and Language Models

AI isn’t just a buzzword anymore. It’s a tool that’s redefining customer interactions, driving personalization, and making data analytics a breeze. Language models like ChatGPT take this a step further. They can generate human-like text, opening doors for creative applications in content creation, customer support, and personalized communication. With a tool that powerful, it’s not just the tech team’s responsibility to ensure its use aligns with company goals and ethical standards – it’s a task for marketing leaders too.

Benefits of Adopting AI: A Tale of Two Perspectives

Adopting AI and language models comes with benefits that can be broadly divided into two categories: operational and strategic. On the operational side, AI can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for your team to focus on what they do best – being creative and strategic. AI can handle customer queries, draft emails, and even generate content, improving efficiency and productivity.

On the strategic side, AI can drive personalization to new heights. Imagine delivering content that resonates deeply with each customer, crafted with an understanding of their preferences and behavior. That’s just one kind of customer experience AI can help deliver. Not to mention, AI can uncover insights from vast amounts of data, informing strategy and decision-making.

Risks of Not Having Guidelines: Leaked Company Information to Bogus Reports

Leaked Company Information

But with great power comes great responsibility. Let’s consider a cautionary tale: the employee at Samsung who reportedly leaked sensitive company secrets through a conversation with ChatGPT. The crackdown was prompted by the discovery of an accidental leak of sensitive internal source code by an engineer who uploaded it to ChatGPT. Samsung has since banned the use of ChatGPT and other AI from its employees.

According to the Bloomberg Report, “Although the severity of the leak remains unclear, Samsung is concerned that data shared with AI chatbots gets stored on servers owned by companies operating the service like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google—with no easy way to access and delete them. The company also fears that the sensitive data shared with the likes of ChatGPT could end up being served to other users.” This is just one example that underscores the reason why guidelines for AI use are critical.

Bogus Legal Reports

There is also the embarrassing legal drama, where an NYC lawyer admits using ChatGPT to write bogus legal reports. Lance Elliott, a contributor to Forbes, points out “The circumstance involves two lawyers in a law firm that relied upon the use of the widely and wildly popular generative AI app ChatGPT and seemed to have gotten themselves legally into rather hot water for doing so”

The attorney was admittedly unaware of what has now been termed Ai Hallucinations: In artificial intelligence (AI), a hallucination or artificial hallucination (also occasionally called confabulation[1] or delusion[2]) is a confident response by an AI that does not seem to be justified by its training data.[3] For example, a hallucinating chatbot might, when asked to generate a financial report for Tesla, falsely state that Tesla’s revenue was $13.6 billion (or some other random number apparently “plucked from thin air”).[4] WIKI

In the case of the attorneys, AI hallucinated bogus legal proceedings and outcomes that never occurred. When the lawyers were ordered by the Judge to provide legal documentation on the cases they cited, the bogus source was shortly revealed.

As Elliot points out, “The situation highlights that yes, even lawyers ought to be careful when using generative AI, making sure to double and triple-check whatever the AI app indicates.”

Without guidelines, misuse or inadvertent negative outcomes can occur. You may face legal issues related to data privacy, security breaches, reputational damage, and ethical dilemmas. AI is like a double-edged sword – it’s a useful tool, but you need to know how to handle it safely.

Starting with Guidelines: The First Step Towards Procedure

So, how do you mitigate these risks and harness the power of AI responsibly? Start with guidelines. While procedures provide a rigid, step-by-step approach, guidelines offer a more flexible framework. They set boundaries and principles, but leave room for adaptation as your team gets comfortable with the technology and as AI evolves.

So, what might these guidelines look like? Here’s a starting point:

  1. Data Privacy and Security: Prioritize user privacy and ensure AI usage complies with relevant data protection laws. Establish who can access the AI and what data the AI can process.
  2. Transparency: Make sure your customers know when they’re interacting with an AI. Be open about how you’re using AI and what data it’s processing.
  3. Quality Assurance: Regularly test the AI system to ensure it’s working as intended and that the quality of generated content is up to par.
  4. Training: Equip your team with the knowledge and skills to use AI responsibly and effectively. This includes understanding the capabilities and limitations of the AI, how to interpret its outputs, and how to handle potential issues.
  5. Feedback Mechanism: Encourage feedback from users and team members to continuously improve the AI system and its use. Learning from the AI’s performance and user feedback is crucial to refining its implementation.
  6. Content Moderation: Implement measures to prevent misuse and detect unsuitable or harmful outputs from the AI system. This ensures that content generated by AI aligns with your brand values and community standards.
  7. Ethical AI Use: Strive to prevent bias in AI interactions and outcomes. Make sure that AI doesn’t discriminate against any user group and maintains fairness in its responses.

Guidelines to Procedures: A Gradual Shift

These guidelines are just a start, a template if you will. As your team gets more acquainted with AI and you gather more feedback from its use, these guidelines can gradually evolve into more detailed procedures. This allows you to address specific scenarios, better manage risks, and align AI use more closely with your business strategy and objectives.

It’s important to understand that procedures for AI use aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. They will vary based on the nature of your business, your marketing strategy, the specific AI technology you’re using, and many other factors. However, guidelines provide a solid foundation upon which you can develop these tailored procedures

Understanding the AI Involvement Spectrum

To better comprehend and manage AI in our projects as well as be transparent with the public, it’s helpful to understand the AI involvement spectrum. This five-level scale illustrates the extent to which AI, like ChatGPT, could be used in a project:

  1. All Human (1): At this level, the project does not use AI at all. All tasks, decisions, and processes are carried out by humans without any assistance from AI technology. It’s business as usual with a hands-on, human touch.
  2. Minimal AI Use (2): Here, AI is used sparingly in the project, primarily for straightforward, repetitive tasks. This might include sorting through data or simple customer queries. The majority of the project’s tasks are still performed by humans. We’re dipping our toes in the AI water but we’re far from swimming.
  3. Moderate AI Use (3): AI now plays a significant role in the project, but many key tasks are still performed by humans. For instance, a language model like ChatGPT might generate draft content, but human experts review, modify, and finalize this content. It’s a collaborative dance between human creativity and AI efficiency.
  4. Substantial AI Use (4): At this stage, AI is integral to the project, carrying out many complex tasks. Humans are still involved in supervision, decision-making, or quality assurance roles. The balance between AI and human involvement leans more towards AI. We’re not just swimming now, we’re starting to dive.
  5. Extensive AI Use (5): Finally, we reach the deep end. AI is the primary driver of the project, handling the majority of tasks with minimal human intervention. Humans play a role mostly in supervising, addressing edge cases, and ensuring the AI is functioning as intended. We’re not just diving; we’re exploring the ocean floor.

Understanding where you sit on this scale can help clarify the role of AI in your marketing strategy. It can guide your AI guidelines and procedures, ensuring they’re tailored to your level of AI involvement. It’s also a reminder that the human element is never obsolete. No matter how extensively we use AI, we’re always at the helm, guiding the strategy, and making the final call.

Leading the Charge

The power of AI and language models is undeniable, but so are the risks associated with their misuse or misunderstanding. CMOs are uniquely positioned to shape how their company navigates this new terrain. By leading the charge in setting guidelines for AI use, they can ensure this technology is used responsibly, ethically, and strategically, all while driving their marketing efforts to new heights.

As marketing leaders, we have a responsibility to not only stay ahead of industry trends, but also to lead our organizations through digital transformations. And make no mistake, AI is a transformational force. It’s a tool that can make us better marketers, but only if we use it wisely. The next big marketing breakthrough might just be a well-guided AI model away.

Moderate AI Use (3)

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