[Q&A] What are the ethical and practical challenges of ChatGPT?

Jul 28, 2023

Q: What are some ethical and practical challenges of ChatGPT in strategic planning?

A: ChatGPT is fascinating, but not infallible. As its use becomes more widespread, here are a few tips to ensure you’re using ChatGPT ethically:
1. Always double-check the work ChatGPT produces.
2. Never let it replace your own intellect and human touch in your work.
3. Never give AI your trade secrets or proprietary data.

Great question! Here are a few of the best answers from our Strategy Collaborative Q&A Session!

In part two of our ChatGPT AMA series, we explore the ethical, legal, and practical concerns related to the use of generative predictive text AI models.

The advancement of AI is exciting, but it also requires careful thought and consideration to navigate the ethical and practical implications of this tool responsibly. The AMA session surfaced many of the complex questions users are grappling with as they figure out ways to integrate AI into their work. Here are some important points we discussed:

The Risks and Responsibilities of ChatGPT

The Question of Originality and Potential for Plagiarism

One of the primary concerns raised during the session centered on the ability of AI models to generate unique written content, and the ethical implications this carries for our work. Issues such as originality, content accuracy, and source material transparency are big points of contention.

The risk of using a tool such as ChatGPT is that it cannot ask itself if it has the right to use the information it’s passing to you. It doesn’t consider factors like plagiarism as human writers would. It also doesn’t always evaluate the information it’s providing for accuracy.

An alternative to using ChatGPT entirely as a content producer is using it instead as a collaborator to help you pull ideas together, brainstorm, or assist with creating outlines for topics.

Pro Tip:

You could consider using the 80/20 rule. 20% of the content assistance can come from ChatGPT, while you fill in the other 80% of your content with your own original thoughts and creativity.

Ethical Considerations

Another concern raised was the potential for AI misuse. If the technology is not appropriately managed or regulated, it could be exploited in ways that cause harm, highlighting the importance of establishing safeguards and ethical guidelines for AI use.

There is also a concern about what happens to the data we input into the program. Just as we aren’t fully aware of where ChatGPT receives its information, we also aren’t entirely sure what it does with the information users input in the program. As always, be careful and use discretion with your proprietary information and where you it is submitted.

The Risk of Derivative Work

An intriguing point raised was the risk of AI-generated content becoming increasingly derivative if models start consuming content they’ve previously produced. This could lead to a decline in the quality and originality of the content.

ChatGPT cannot analyze its own shortcomings and flaws to determine if its information is accurate, true, or even well-written. Sometimes, it has been known to fabricate data or information entirely.

As leaders in the strategic planning industry, we are in a unique position to ensure we utilize this tool correctly. It’s important to develop a thorough vetting process of the tool’s output and ensure the elements that only human creativity can provide are still front and center.

These factors are why human involvement remains vital when using ChatGPT. From crafting the correct questions and offering further guidance to ensure it produces what you need from it, to ultimately proofing and fact-checking the information provided, a human touch is required in each step of the process to ensure that it produces standard results.

Opportunities for Utilizing AI as a Strategic Tool

Seeking AI-Savvy Talent

One fascinating prediction discussed during the AMA was the potential future need for professionals skilled at leveraging AI technologies like ChatGPT. As we discussed in part 1, the quality of the output is dependent on the quality of the input. ChatGPT’s answer is only as good as the question asked, and this could result in some trial and error before it gives you what you’re looking for. Could there be a need for the rise of ‘Prompt Engineers’, tasked with mastering the formulation of queries to optimize AI outputs?

AI in Business Strategy

The potential applications of AI in strategy were also highlighted. AI could help synthesize data, identify market trends and forces, and even draft the first versions of business plans. However, the consensus was that the ultimate responsibility for strategic decision-making must remain with human experts who must rely on their experience, expertise, and insight to bring these ideas to fruition.

Final Thoughts

ChatGPT is a powerful assistive tool that can strengthen our skills and expedite our process and deliverables. However, our responsibility to ourselves and our clients necessitates that we cannot allow it to replace our skills and efforts fully.

Additional Resources to Consider



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