Blurring the Line Between Employees and AI

January 4, 2018

Using artificial intelligence to monitor employees is a complicated business. While some employers aim to improve productivity and making work easier, others may have other intents. That’s the thesis of the recent Harvard Business Review story, “The Legal Risks of Monitoring Employees Online.”

According to the story:

Companies are increasingly adopting sophisticated technologies that can help prevent the intentional or inadvertent export of corporate IP and other sensitive and proprietary data.


Enter data loss prevention, or “DLP” solutions, that help companies detect anomalous patterns or behavior through keystroke logging, network traffic monitoring, natural language processing, and other methods, all while enforcing relevant workplace policies. And while there is a legitimate business case for deploying this technology, DLP tools may implicate a panoply of federal and state privacy laws, ranging from laws around employee monitoring, computer crime, wiretapping, and potentially data breach statutes. Given all of this, companies must consider the legal risks associated with DLP tools before they are implemented and plan accordingly.

While it’s undeniable some companies will use technology monitor employees, this same machine learning and AI can help better employees. Like this story about how AI is forcing human intelligence to evolve and strengthen itself, not get worse. This is a story we’re watching closely because these two camps will likely only create a deeper divide.

Patrick Roland, January 4, 2018


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