When AI Joins the Team: Best Practices

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way we work, learn, and communicate. When integrated into our daily work effectively, AI can help us solve complex problems, automate tedious tasks, and enhance our creativity. However, AI also presents new challenges and risks, such as ethical dilemmas, bias, accountability, and quality assurance.

Emil Holmegaard, PhD | Management Consultant at 7N
#

What can you expect to learn from this article?

  • 1

    How to ensure responsible and effective use of AI in our work.

  • 2

    How to collaborate with AI systems and tools, such as copilots, that can generate code, content, design, and more.

  • 3

    Best practices for working with AI as your co-worker.

Five steps to maximize your new co-worker

To fully utilize your new co-worker, whether it's a copilot, AI model, or the like, you will need to teach it. Treat the AI tool as a trainee - but one with exceptional learning abilities that never takes a day off. Your new co-worker may appear convincing, but be aware that a copilot does not know the context in which you are working and needs to be taught about it in order to be accurate. Use these five steps to ensure quality when working with AI:

1. Think before you ask

Before delegating a task to an AI system or tool, assess how you would solve the problem yourself. This will help you define the problem clearly, identify the requirements and constraints, and evaluate the potential solutions. You should consider the ethical implications of your task, such as who will benefit from it, who will be affected by it, and what potential harms or risks it may cause. By thinking critically about your task, you are able to ask the right questions to the AI system or tool, thereby avoiding misuse or abuse of its capabilities.

2. Compare and contrast

After asking an AI system or tool to perform a task, you should always compare and contrast its output with your own solution or expectation. Do not blindly trust or accept the AI output - carefully evaluate its accuracy, relevance, quality, and originality.  As the image to the left clearly illustrates, AI tools are not free from errors (Dall E asked to generate "5" steps). You should, therefore, make sure to check for errors, biases, inconsistencies, or plagiarism in the AI output. When you take this step to compare and contrast the output of AI with your own solution or expectation, you will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the AI system or tool. This will also help you improve your skills and knowledge.

3. Construct and refine

After comparing and contrasting the AI output with your solution or expectation, construct and refine your final solution by combining the best elements of both. You can, for example, use an 80/20 approach, either using 80% of the AI output and 20% of your input or vice versa, depending on the task and quality of the AI output. You should ensure that your final solution meets all the requirements and constraints of your task and is clear, concise, coherent, and consistent. By combining the best elements of both, you can leverage the power of AI while maintaining your creativity and decision-making.

4. Review and revise

Before submitting or publishing your final solution, always revise it with a team member or peer to ensure its quality. In doing so, it's essential to receive feedback on various aspects of your solution, such as content, structure, style, format, and ethical considerations. Additionally, you should explain how you utilized the AI system or tool in your work process and discuss the challenges and benefits of working with it. By reviewing and revising your final solution with a team member or a peer, you will be able to ensure that it is of high quality, reflects your voice and values, and complies with the relevant standards and regulations. As a side bonus, this will also allow you to get valuable suggestions, which can help you improve your solution.

5. Follow AI policies

Finally, as a user of AI-powered tools and systems, it's crucial to ensure that you comply with your organization's or industry's regulations and policies. These provide guidelines on transparency, responsibility, professionalism, and ethics when using AI systems and tools in your work. For instance, you may need to reveal that you are using AI, credit the sources of the AI output, guarantee that the AI output is unbiased and impartial, maintain the privacy and security of the data used by the AI system or tool, and keep track of and report any issues or incidents related to the AI system or tool. Make sure to adhere to these policies to ensure that you use AI in a fair, ethical, trustworthy, and accountable manner.

Final Remarks


AI is not just a technology; it is also a co-worker that can enhance our work performance and experience. However, working with AI requires acquiring new skills and practices to ensure we use AI responsibly and effectively. This article outlines some best practices for working with AI as your co-worker. These practices include thinking before you ask, comparing and contrasting, constructing and refining, reviewing and revising, and following AI policies. By following these best practices, we can take full advantage of the potential of AI while preserving our own identity and integrity, even when our new co-worker is based on AI.

 

About the author
Emil Holmegaard, Ph.D. Emil has a Ph.D. in Software Engineering and over ten years of experience in software development, architecture, and governance of IT projects. He is a software quality and architecture specialist, a management consultant, and a TOGAF certified architect. His passion for analysing and exploring challenges areas between advanced technologies and business allows him to solve technical issues and help businesses be more agile and profitable.