A new poll of global digital trust professionals is revealing a high degree of uncertainty around generative artificial intelligence (AI), few company policies around its use, lack of training, and fears around its exploitation by bad actors, according to Generative AI 2023: An ISACA Pulse Poll.
Digital trust professionals from around the globe, including more than 660 based in Asia—who work in cybersecurity, IT audit, governance, privacy and risk—weighed in on generative AI—artificial intelligence that can generate text, images and other media—in a new pulse poll from ISACA that explores employee use, training, attention to ethical implementation, risk management, exploitation by adversaries, and impact on jobs.
Diving in, even without policies
The poll found that many employees at respondents’ organizations are using generative AI, even without policies in place for its use. Among respondents in Asia, only 32 percent of organizations say their companies expressly permit the use of generative AI, only 11 percent say a formal comprehensive policy is in place, and 30 percentage say no policy exists and there is no plan for one. Despite this, over 42 percent say employees are using it regardless—and the percentage is likely much higher given that an additional 30 percent aren’t sure.
These employees based in Asia are using generative AI in a number of ways, including to:
- Create written content (67%)
- Increase productivity (41%)
- Customer Service (such as chat box) (30%)
- Automate repetitive tasks (28%)
- Improve decision making (23%)
Lack of familiarity and training
However, despite employees quickly moving forward with use of the technology, only five percent of respondents’ organizations are providing training to all staff on AI, and more than half (52 percent) say that no AI training at all is provided, even to teams directly impacted by AI. Only 23 percent of respondents indicated they have a high degree of familiarity with generative AI.
“Employees are not waiting for permission to explore and leverage generative AI to bring value to their work, and it is clear that their organizations need to catch up in providing policies, guidance and training to ensure the technology is used appropriately and ethically,” said Jason Lau, ISACA board director and CISO at Crypto.com. “With greater alignment between employers and their staff around generative AI, organizations will be able to drive increased understanding of the technology among their teams, gain further benefit from AI, and better protect themselves from related risk.”
Risk and exploitation concerns
The poll explored the ethical concerns and risks associated with AI as well, with 29 percent saying that not enough attention is being paid to ethical standards for AI implementation.