WX trends: AI, surveillance, and you

WX trends: AI, surveillance, and you

Welcome to our new workplace experience (WX) trends series, where we look at recent news articles, videos, social media posts and thought leadership pieces on the workplace experience. We’ll dive into the headlines and topics of conversation to see how it impacts the future of work. You’ll also hear from our experts as they weigh in on what’s trending. What are the topics we’ll look at? It will vary from week to week but some of the themes include AI, the return to the office, technology at work, workplace culture, ESG practices and women and work.

This week, we’ll look at how workplace surveillance is increasing with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), raising questions about the laws that govern technology and privacy. Next we’ll explore Elon Musk’s musings on superhuman AI. Lastly, we’ll check out what comedian Jon Stewart has to say about the advent of an AI prompt engineer.

AI in the workplace: How much monitoring is too much?

It can monitor your comings and goings at work – including your time in the bathroom – what’s on your computer screen and even your mood. AI is exploding in the workplace and experts warn that US businesses, labor unions, and the government aren’t doing enough to protect workers from AI’s potential downsides.

“Any working device that your employer puts in your hand, you can assume it has some way of monitoring your work and productivity,” Valerio De Stefano, a labor law professor at York University in Toronto, told the Canadian Press last month. “Electronic monitoring is a reality for most workers.”

The story says the federal government “has proposed Bill C-27, which would set out obligations for ‘high-impact’ AI systems.”

Thomas Philippart de Foy, Chief Innovation Officer at Appspace, says as AI gets better, the rules of engagement in the workplace will also have to develop.

“We’re seeing massive shifts at work with the adoption of AI,” he says. “Transparency in how it’s used for surveillance is going to be essential.”

When will AI become superhuman?

Let’s see if Elon Musk is right. During a recent livestreamed interview on X (formerly Twitter), the multibillionaire predicted that in 2025, superhuman AI will be brighter than anyone in the world.

“That prediction was made with the caveat that increasing demands for power and shortages of the most powerful AI training chips could limit their capability in the near term,” according to an article in The Guardian.

Philippart de Foy says we’re seeing developments with AI all of the time and it’s difficult to know where we’ll be six months from now, let alone 18 months.

“The more intelligent AI becomes, the more we’ll have to adapt.”

A new job title for prompt engineers?

As we all know, the demand for AI prompt engineers is gaining steam and comedian Jon Stewart isn’t impressed.

Prompt engineers guide AI models, according to Jack Kelly, a senior contributor at Forbes. “It’s the art of crafting targeted questions or instructions that direct AI to find and share the top on-point responses in incredibly fast real-time conversations,” Kelly reports. “These professionals facilitate effective communication between users and AI.”

But Stewart claims to see right through it, adding the job title should be “types-question guy.”

As AI develops, we’re going to see demand for all kinds of new roles, says Philippart de Foy.

“This is an exciting and new frontier. AI is developing all of the time, so it only makes sense that there will be a need for new specializations.”

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