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Artificial Intelligence [AI]: What's In Stock and At Stake For Workers And Workplaces

To what extent organizations should allow artificial intelligence (AI) to infiltrate their workplaces is a quandary for many, despite its many exigent benefits, mainly when AI can free up a substantial amount of human bandwidth by taking on some of the menial tasks. While AI and robotics have already entered our work front and are slowly taking over our work life in a big way, some of the questions keep HR folks on their toes. Is the usage of artificial intelligence limited by the inertia that all disruptive technology faces? What risks can workers face in digitalized, AI-augmented workplaces? How to ace the battle against cybercrimes? This article discusses these and other pertinent questions pertaining to AI.

Has Workplace AI Sparked Arms Race in the Battle Against Cybercrime?

Companies and hackers are competing head-to-head as corporations attempt to leverage AI for threat detection, prevention, and remediation while hackers are increasingly able to create more sophisticated attacks.

Unlike goods and services, where user experience is a determinant of customer trust, what matters in AI technology is keeping the users secure from hackers and having a quality-first approach. In this perspective, corporates must ensure that the quality-first approach encompasses all digital processes while ensuring that innovation is not compromised by safety and security issues.

Priya Tikhe, Site Lead, Head of HRBP Operations, and HRSS - Tech & Operations in Allstate India, suggests, "Create a system security plan (SSP) to include details about how to limit access to authorized users and ensure staff members practice secure habits and respond in the event of a security breach."

Employees who are untrained in proper security procedures can be a huge vulnerability. Tikhe adds, "There should be a mechanism in place for reporting signs of an attack, and it is important to teach personnel how to spot warning signals of cybercrime as well as how to limit risks. Several companies are attempting to educate their staff by regularly sending phishing-esque emails to them." A warning indicator appears every time an employee clicks on the phony phishing email. The workers become more alert in the future as a result, and the click rate goes down.

What Risks Do AI-Augmented Workplaces Pose to Workers?

AI technology can detect deviations from an employee's normal behavior or instances of company policy being breached by staff. Leveraging this AI capability, corporates can identify personnel trying to access corporate data and discover proof of them transferring information to an external entity.

However, this also runs the risk of a breach of employee privacy. Taking this to a more invasive level, even routine tasks like accessing USB storage may be scrutinized for indications of malevolent intent.

Determining the precise emotion and explanation using AI technology alone will be challenging. Hence, privacy rules will be essential if businesses are to prevent their own violations of employment law.

What more? Tikhe quotes, "AI bots have evolved beyond just making real-time conversations. They have the ability to create sentimental analytics basis the conversations. The traditional HR roles are fading away. If HR wants to be useful and add value to the workplace climate, it is by stepping up to lend employees the needed consulting and advisory support."

Catch 22: Technology First or Safety Measures First?

Although AI and robotics are life-imitating art, their nature, and complexity keep growing, keeping businesses on their toes to deliberate how to infuse this new technology into their cybersecurity plans. Strong cyber hygiene is a powerful deterrent to many threats.

Tikhe emphasized that technology and safety measures go hand-in-hand, "With the ever-growing concerns around data breaches, tech folks have a greater responsibility to consistently boost security while giving staff members greater freedom to push their digital bounds." She further adds, "Be sure to test any new system thoroughly before deployment. Once you're confident it's working as intended, start with a slow and steady rollout."

Cloud storage shall be replaced by on-premises storage, for it is developed to be a more secure mode of storage. Internal breaches can be avoided by establishing data policies and restrictions for sensitive data and by implementing network, device, and application monitoring systems.

The most typical of all is external malware attacks through email phishing. Tikhe asserts, "Preventing external intrusions may be considerably aided by educating staff members about best practices and assigning a sense of responsibility for data security."

It is only helpful to have technology with professionals to make sense of it. Hence, it is imperative for enterprises to invest in preventative AI and for HR to support the development of next-gen technology experts.

Closing Thoughts

With the advent of the new era of AI, it will remain crucial to recall and review the tension points in positioning technologies into positions of power in workplaces and maintain a human-in-command approach to rolling out new workplace technologies. Human responses to this trend should involve cautious regulation, in which human intellect takes primacy as machines grow more pervasive in our working lives.

Priya Tikhe

Priya Tikhe

Site Lead, Head of HRBP Operations, and HRSS - Tech Operations

Allstate India

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Priya Tikhe has innovated and patented a People product in sentimental analytics registered at the United States Patent Office (US PTO). A senior HR professional who has shaped high-performing cultures at Fortune 500 and major start-up growth brands with progressive technical associates, good communications, and robust development programs that bring double-digit revenue growth. Employs current human capital practices that attract and retain high-potential talent. Develops executable strategy that motivates team individually and financially to exceed the organization's objectives through various economic cycles. Her experience includes various global assignments in Strategic Human Resource Planning, Total Rewards - Compensation Benchmarking, High Performing Talent Fulfilment, Learning and Development and Facilitation, Change Management, Succession Planning and Development, Performance Compensation Programs, Post-Acquisition Integration and Restructuring, Employee Relations, Diversity & Inclusion.


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