AI at work: should its use be regulated?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is attracting a growing number of companies because of the time, accuracy and productivity savings it promises. In a context where regulation is non-existent, the power of these tools also generates concerns.

According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 68 percent of companies invested in AI in 2021, up from 53 percent in 2020. Nearly half of businesses said that AI was a key part of their overall digital strategy. Many employers see AI as a way to improve efficiency and productivity. These tools enable the automation of repetitive and tedious tasks, faster data analysis, as well as improved customer experience and process optimization. 

Tools like ChatGPT are therefore already put to use in various fields of activity, such as finance, customer relationship management and health, most often in assistant roles. For example, a doctor can now use AI to write medical letters to insurance companies to obtain approval for treatments. In San Francisco, one man even used it to write and illustrate a children’s book in a few days.

Regulation called for

While AI is promising in many ways, it is not without consequences. Researchers at the investment bank Goldman Sachs have estimated that it could affect 300 million full-time jobs. Its analysis note predicts that the administrative and legal professions will be the most affected, as well as those related to maintenance and cleaning, repair services, production, transport and movement of material.

Employers will need to provide training and skills development programs for people whose jobs are likely to be automated. At the same time, new jobs and professions will emerge, such as psydesigner, a kind of ergonomist whose skills combine those of a psychologist and an interface designer.

More than a thousand experts, including Quebec researcher Yoshua Bengio, have called for a six-month moratorium on AI labs,  certain that chatbots can pose “serious risks to society and humanity.”  In early April, Liberal MNA Frédéric Beauchemin read a question written by ChatGPT to the National Assembly on the development of AI and its consequences.


“There are known limitations about artificial intelligence like ChatGPT, biases like racism, sexism, use of such software for misinformation, data privacy, impact on studies and the job market, legal liability and copyright,” he said. Quebec’s Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, recently indicated his willingness to regulate the development of AI in order to prevent it from getting out of hand.



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