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  • Writer's pictureSara Millis

How to use ChatGPT safely in your small business

Are you concerned about using ChatGPT to help manage your small business? With the recent discussions about the safety of AI, it's natural to feel unsure about how to implement this software safely across your team without risking sensitive information. 

As IT support providers, we often receive questions about data protection, and we want to help alleviate your concerns. We've created a blog post outlining everything you need to know about ChatGPT, including how it works and how to train your staff to interact safely without compromising sensitive information.

We hope this will help you feel more confident using this technology to improve your business operations.

Business man shaking hands with a business AI robot

So, what is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI for conversational applications. It is pre-trained on internet text (up to September 2021 by the date of this publication), allowing it to understand nuances and generate coherent responses. With 175 billion parameters, it is one of the largest language models. 

It can generate responses across various topics and be fine-tuned for tasks like customer support and content generation. Improvements are made through further machine learning, date knowledge access and user feedback.

According to available data from December 2023, ChatGPT currently has around 180.5 million users, with 100 million daily users. A record for the platform releases, only later bested by Instagram's Threads.

What can ChatGPT do?

Here are some essential functions and applications of ChatGPT:

  • Conversational AI - Designed for natural language conversations, it can engage in dialogues, respond to user queries, and generate contextually relevant text, making it suitable for applications like chatbots and virtual assistants.

  • Content generation - The model can generate coherent and contextually appropriate text, making it valuable for content creation. This includes outlining articles, blog posts, marketing copy, and more.

  • Text summarisation - It can summarise lengthy pieces of text, distilling the main ideas and critical information. This is useful for quickly extracting insights from large documents.

  • Language translation - While not explicitly trained for translation, ChatGPT can assist in translating short phrases or sentences between languages, demonstrating its ability to understand and generate text in different languages.

  • Answering questions - It can provide information and answers to various questions. It leverages its pre-trained knowledge to offer responses based on the input it receives.

  • Coding assistance - Developers can use ChatGPT to get help with coding-related queries. It can generate code snippets, explain programming concepts, and assist in problem-solving.

  • Learning new topics - The programme can be used to understand and generate information on various topics. Users can ask it to explain concepts, provide overviews, or delve into specific details on a subject.

  • Brainstorming ideas - Businesses and individuals can use ChatGPT for idea generation. It can assist in brainstorming sessions by providing creative input, suggesting solutions, or offering perspectives on different topics.

The limitations of the AI model

As with any software, there are limitations. In this instance, ChatGPT suffers from a lack of real-time context, sensitivity to input phrasing, potential for incorrect answers, repetitive responses, sensitivity to input length, limited ability to ask clarifying questions, biases in reactions, and inability to access real-time information. 

Making your users aware of these limitations and guiding usage is essential for businesses if you want to lead with quality output for customers and clients.

How to safely use ChatGPT in your business

If you plan to use ChatGPT in your business, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure safe usage. 

Firstly, compliance. Ensure you understand when and where it is legally appropriate to use the software to help you in your business activities.

Secondly, be transparent with your customers or clients that they are communicating with an AI-powered assistant if you intend to use it in this way. Create better trust and avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

Thirdly, understand how the software uses your data. ChatGPT collects and stores personal information such as account details, conversations, device data, usage data, and log data. While this data is used to improve the ChatGPT model, it poses a security risk and can lead to data breaches if mishandled.

To ensure your organisation's sensitive data is secure, developing a comprehensive strategy for securing generative AI and considering solutions like Forcepoint ONE SSE and Forcepoint DLP is essential.

Ensuring ethical use

As with any new system, it is important to consider ethical advice to your leadership, management and daily users. Here's what we believe you should include:

  • Transparent communication - It is essential to communicate clearly with customers when interacting with ChatGPT and disclose when and where the software is used.

  • Informed consent - Obtaining informed consent from customers before using ChatGPT for sensitive tasks or data processing is crucial to ensure data privacy.

  • Be prepared to have a human edit the output - Provide support for users and empower them to make guided and fair decisions about the quality control of AI output before it is released to customers or used for internal purposes.

  • Avoiding deceptive practices - There should be no incidence of software used to deceive or mislead customers.

  • Bias mitigation - Regularly assess and mitigate biases in ChatGPT's responses. Learn how to create more inclusive responses.

  • User empowerment - Empower users with the ability to opt out of ChatGPT interactions if they prefer human assistance.

  • Data security measures - Implement robust data security measures to protect customer information.

  • Regular monitoring and auditing - Monitor ChatGPT interactions to identify ethical concerns or issues.

  • Ethics training for employees - Train employees on ethical considerations related to software usage. 

  • Responsive to feedback - Establish mechanisms for users and employees to provide input on ChatGPT interactions and act promptly on feedback to address ethical concerns and improve the system.

  • Legal Compliance - Ensure compliance with data protection regulations and laws related to AI use.

  • Ethical AI policy - Develop and enforce an ethical AI policy that guides the responsible use of ChatGPT.

How to train your staff to interact with ChatGPT

Training your staff to interact effectively with ChatGPT is crucial to ensure seamless integration into your business processes. Here's a quick guide on how to train your staff:

  1. Provide an overview of the software, explaining its capabilities and intended use within the business. Highlight the benefits of using ChatGPT in customer interactions and workflow optimisation.

  2. Communicate the limitations, including its sensitivity to phrasing and potential for inaccuracies. Ensure staff members are aware of scenarios where human intervention might be necessary.

  3. Conduct live demonstrations to familiarise staff with its functionalities. Provide hands-on training sessions, allowing staff to interact with ChatGPT and experience its responses.

  4. Train staff on crafting queries that yield accurate and relevant responses. Emphasise the importance of clear and concise input to enhance the quality of interactions.

  5. Teach staff to evaluate responses critically for accuracy and appropriateness. Provide guidelines on when to seek additional information or clarify responses with customers.

  6. Educate staff on ethical considerations. Emphasise the importance of maintaining ethical standards in all interactions.

  7. Indicate acceptable use - Your AUP policy should be updated to include a section on AI and machine learning models.

  8. Instruct staff on data security best practices when handling customer information. Reinforce the importance of safeguarding sensitive data and following established protocols.

  9. Inform staff about user empowerment features, such as allowing users to opt out of AI interactions - train staff on procedures for assisting users who prefer human interaction.

  10. Schedule regular refresher courses to keep staff updated on any improvements or changes. Provide ongoing training to address new use cases or challenges that may arise.

  11. Establish channels for staff to provide feedback on interactions. Encourage staff to share insights and challenges to improve the system continuously.

  12. Train staff on common troubleshooting steps. Establish a support system for staff to seek assistance when faced with challenging situations.

  13. Ensure staff are well-versed in compliance requirements related to AI usage within your industry. Provide resources and training materials on legal and regulatory considerations.

Learning to use ChatGPT safely in your business

ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help small businesses like yours improve operations, but using it responsibly and ethically is essential.

You must understand the software's capabilities and limitations to ensure compliance, be transparent with customers, and secure sensitive data. And that's what we hope to have prompted you to think about today.

Check out our other business IT resources to help you and your team build a stronger organisation.

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