Generative AI has garnered widespread attention for its potential to revolutionize various industries. But like any powerful tool, generative AI also has the potential to be abused. If your business isn’t careful, it can end up being nothing more than a high-powered spam machine producing unwanted results that clog productivity.
What causes this spam? It boils down to using the technology to control business operations before an organization actually knows whether it’s beneficial or not.
What Is Generative AI Spam?
Generative AI spam is when the tool creates unwanted results that end up creating more work or issues for your company than it solves. It can occur when AI is applied to different problems without the proper plan or oversight.
To ensure organizations know what they are potentially getting themselves into, it’s important to understand how generative AI can become a spam machine, discuss its impact on the developer community and shed light on the ethical and societal implications of this double-edged technology. All of which will help highlight where automation is best suited to handle business operations.
The Good and the Spam of Generative AI
Generative AI tools possess a lot of promise and benefits, which is why companies have been so quick to adopt tools that utilize it.
One of its advantages is that it becomes more sophisticated over time. The more AI tools learn about the context of where and how they are being used, the better the outcomes they produce. Reactions will often go from: “Well, that wasn’t a very smart suggestion” to “Wow, that’s a great idea and a different approach.”
To that extent, software teams should think of coding assistants via generative AI as junior programmers looking over a developers’ shoulders, a helpful alternative to having a human pair programmer. And in terms of velocity, the speed increases are impressive, accelerating development processes so that software can be delivered and deployed much faster and on a bigger scale.
Of course, this is still all at a very early stage. Some AI tools are better than others, with results varying depending on the programming language. But we are rapidly reaching a tipping point where the question is not “is it worth using AI in software development” to “why would I not use AI in software development.”
But there is another question to consider: Are we balancing value creation with adequate risk management?
How Generative AI Can Lead to Productivity Spam
AI and automation hype is playing out across industries at a concerningly high level, so much so that the FTC had to step in and crack down on AI claims. Most organizations claim to be replacing everything with AI. The part that’s worrying is whether this overuse will generate more than an organization is ready to handle.
For example, AI still lacks the contextual intelligence of a human programmer. If it’s looking at many lines of code, should it be reviewing a file created last year, the one next to it or the one a colleague is currently editing? What about security and performance? How should it go about ensuring maintainable, testable and explainable code? These are all questions that, if left unanswered, could be dangerous to a company relying on automation.
Without the right infrastructure or oversight, AI could lead to coding mistakes, introduce new vulnerabilities and open the company up to potential penalties as AI regulations evolve. The same can play out across other fields, whether it’s producing sales emails with grammatical mistakes and incorrect information, duplicating results or introducing bias into the recruitment process.
Organizations have been fixated on tossing automation at every task seeking greater efficiency and agility. But adopting AI without a plan or the right infrastructure can end up causing more issues than it solves.
It’s crucial that company leaders are sensitive about spamming sensitive areas of the business with AI, especially when it may not be fully equipped to handle an organization’s needs.
AI Regulation Introduces Additional Risk
The use of generative AI has also raised serious ethical concerns and regulatory claims. This is another reason organizations need to be cautious when adopting the technology. If they aren’t careful, there could be heavy penalties for the misuse of AI, as declared by The European Union AI Act. So much so, that it could cost an organization up to $44 million dollars in fines if they fail to adhere to the law.
There are various ethical guidelines for each country. For the U.S. in particular, regulating AI innovation is in the hot seat and will be an ever-present challenge for Silicon Valley giants looking to expand in the sector.
To overcome this pressing challenge, developers will be tested on a governance framework detailing how the tech is being used and its possible impacts.
Moving forward, development teams need to ensure security and compliance to strike a balance between the technological innovation they are trying to achieve and protecting users from any AI generated mistakes. Especially as teams are learning about AI capabilities, there can never be a siloed environment. It’s better to collaborate across teams to effectively address an issue and determine solutions in the shortest amount of time. Regulations are always changing, but an organization needs to have a standard set of policies and continue to manage as development strategies shift and a different technology is used in practice.
Generative AI, while a groundbreaking technology, is not immune to misuse. AI isn’t advanced enough to solve every issue within your business. Balancing innovation, compliance and security will be the key to navigating this complex landscape and ensuring that generative AI serves your business positively rather than becoming a source of inefficiency.