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Copilot concerns? Key reasons why users can trust the technology

With almost two-thirds (61%) of consumers wary of trusting AI and 37% of C-suite leaders who work in data-driven organisations also saying they are sceptical, IT teams know a big part of their role is reassuring colleagues when they introduce new tech to their business.

For sure, tech professionals who are responsible for the implementation of platforms such as Microsoft 365 Copilot must also soothe their own concerns, which generally revolve around security. Only when everyone’s happy to trust the AI at their fingertips can its benefits be fully realised: increased productivity, reduced time spent on menial tasks, the discovery of new ideas and approaches, and resources freed up for more strategic outputs.

In this article, we’ll examine the key concerns of users as they get to grips with powerful AI platforms that will augment their roles – and set out why they shouldn’t fret over the tech.

What worries ‘non-IT folk’ about using AI?

Mostly, users are concerned about matters of privacy. This ranges from anxieties over inputting confidential data – such as financials – into the AI, to worrying that someone might be able to comb through personal data such as private messages, personal work files and prompt history.

As one tech journalist and AI user puts it: “I don’t like the idea of any tool having access to everything on my computer… be[ing] able to read my emails and learn my tone, even if there’s nothing of interest in there…”

Meanwhile, your users may also have questions about the accuracy of outputs from the queries they enter into AI tools. Albeit, because Copilot researches its responses from your organisation’s data – assuming data-sets are complete – there’s a higher chance they’ll be correct at the first time of asking.

The fact is users should never take responses as gospel . The consequences of relying on unchecked information created by AI range from acute embarrassment – stats that are called out in a presentation to the board, for example – to career jeopardy. In one instance two lawyers in the US were discovered using false details – or, at least, an unchecked “hallucination” or made-up information – in evidence they presented, created by ChatGPT.

Microsoft is adamant that AI shouldn’t fully replace human research. Its mantra is “always verify”: a level of user responsibility is expected. Just as you would – or should – be careful to check sources when you’re drafting a document for work purposes, the same goes for scrutinising the output of Copilot. It’s always worth double-checking citations yourself, or seeking reassurance from reputable sources if none are given, while acknowledging Copilot is a great place to start.

Do IT professionals worry about AI too?

Concerns around misinformation don’t bother most tech experts in the same way they might nag at the wider workforce. Any IT professional who is savvy enough to know how to enter the most productive prompts should be able to evaluate whether the output is accurate. 

But business leaders who oversee organisation-wide information also don’t want employees to rest on their laurels and leave important output unverified, such as automatically generated client emails.

In general, though, IT’s main issue is trusting the tech’s security posture. Fears of data leaks and online security breaches are on the rise amid a barrage of cyber attacks. Your IT team is usually charged with ensuring attacks and breaches don’t happen, so they need to know that Copilot is fully protected from these issues.

How does Copilot allay these anxieties?

With regard to misinformation, Microsoft has been careful to include functionality in Copilot that flags ‘AI-generated content’ and checks the information presented to the user. Copilot also has built-in controls to ensure the tech doesn’t hallucinate.

In terms of user privacy, Copilot was designed with safeguards to prevent problems occurring. As Microsoft states: “Your data is your data.” The user owns it and Microsoft does not access it.

Copilot is designed to be a fully secure and trustworthy AI companion for users. Microsoft has invested many millions of dollars to bring the power of AI to all businesses in a secure format. The platform is based on Microsoft’s key AI security principles:

  • Secure by design and secure by default 
  • Your data is your data  
  • Your data is not used to train AI models without your permission 
  • Rigorous, Responsible AI practices

Because Copilot is integrated with Microsoft 365 apps, it inherits all of your company’s security, compliance and privacy policies. This isn’t always the case with other AI-based workflow tools, leaving them less secure.

In other words, if a user only has permission to access certain areas of the server, Copilot cannot go beyond those boundaries either. In addition, anything uploaded to or created by the AI that taps into company data will remain within your business.

Every organisation features a scale of risk appetite among employees. Some users will be ‘risk averse’; sceptical about the security and trustworthiness of new technology. A number of these may flatly refuse to get involved with AI, while others will be curious but want reassurance.

On the other side of the coin the ‘risk confident’ people in your workforce will fully embrace the use of technology to improve their roles and performance – and may therefore present a risk themselves, as they rush headlong to task management functions and use of unverified content.

Copilot throws a ring around both sets of people. For the risk averse, controls are in place to ensure their use of AI is safe, thus building trust among individual users. For the risk confident, Copilot comes with controls so the business can fully trust the technology.

How does BCN help build trust in Copilot?

IT teams have plenty on their plate making sure Copilot runs smoothly for users. BCN is always available to handle key aspects of implementing the technology, not least reviewing and setting access permissions for individual users. As described, this is the basis for everything they can use Copilot for, and also determines where the tool will be able to find information on behalf of the user. It’s a ‘walled garden’ model that distinguishes the platform from others, making Copilot the most trustworthy AI productivity platform out there.

Getting your team to trust AI is a vital step towards using the tech for more productive operations. If users trust the technology, end customers are also more likely to be comfortable with it. And, since 85% of businesses agree that their target audiences are more likely to choose them if they are transparent about using AI, building trust could be the most important thing you do.

The fact is, many businesses are already incorporating AI into their workflows. Why not use a platform that can improve performance and productivity in a safe and controlled way, rather than getting left behind?

To find out more about how BCN can build confidence and trust in your Copilot deployment, get in touch.

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