8 Critical Pros and Cons for AI Chatbots and IT
It’s rare to be able to easily identify an inflection point in tech. The winds of technological change can be subtle and undetected, slowly shifting the IT world around us without notice. This is not the case for AI chatbots. AI has taken the world by storm and it’s nearly impossible to get away from the topic. Similar to the blockchain explosion in the past 5 years, AI chatbots are poised to be a major shakeup in the foundation of IT and technology considerations for an organization.
People have always been wary of the “Skynet” scenario – AI fundamentally shifting our world in the blink of an eye. Whether business owners are aware of it or not, this has already happened in a much less flashy manner. AI chatbots, especially ChatGPT, have astounding capabilities for intelligent conversations. Moreover – they have instant access to a wealth of data that no single person could ever dream of obtaining. These “chatbots” are so much more than a conversation tool – but they are still a tool. Like any tool, using them correctly can enable a significant increase in productivity.
AI Chatbots and IT – 8 Pros and Cons for Business Owners
- PRO: Enhanced Customer Service: Soft-skills are critical to providing the best possible customer service. Sometimes, your most affable employees might not be the most technically proficient. By leveraging AI chatbots, your team can greatly extend the skillset of your most capable representatives by providing a limitless amount of technical expertise at the palm of their hands. ChatGPT and other similar tools enable support representatives to quickly obtain data in a conversational manner – easily asking the bot about complex questions without the arduous process of navigating a search engine.
- CON: Sensitive Data Leaks: Chatbots such as ChatGPT are still software at the end of the day, and software has vulnerabilities. ChatGPT recently experienced an event in which sensitive customer data was exposed during a period of technical issues. As with any service, a proper security policy and governance around usage must be established before letting the tool loose within a corporate environment. AI chatbots are a liability if sensitive data is fed into the engine. We recommend always keeping client data, PII, and other trade secrets securely away from AI Chatbots.
- PRO: Quick Technical Issue Evaluation: Imagine that every Tier 1 IT technician had direct access to a veteran network engineer for escalations. This engineer never sleeps, knows just about everything from the internet pre-2022, and can spend as much time as needed in a conversation. This is functionally the advantage your team is getting by properly leveraging an AI chatbot. It can’t replace the work of technicians, engineers, architects, or consultants – but it can make those that use it significantly more effective at resolving issues.
- CON: Extensive Impersonation and Phishing Attacks: AI chatbots are very adept at impersonating individuals. Feed them enough data in a conversation, and they can understand the tone, role, and formatting of a standard conversation from just about anyone. Attackers can leverage this fact to formulate highly convincing attacks that perfectly mirror standard communications from high-level individuals. Gone are the days of shoddy grammar and inconsistent tone – chatbots can write complex and accurate phishing emails in the blink of an eye. Cybersecurity awareness training will continue to grow in importance alongside AI chatbots.
- PRO: Language Translation and Quick Replies: In the globalized world of business, interacting with international clients and partners is a common occurrence. With AI chatbots, language barriers are a much less severe issue. Chatbots can translate languages instantaneously and fairly accurately. The conversational tone also helps to maintain some humanity between the translations, having a greater chance of detecting subtle emotions and complex tones that can get lost in standard translation software.
- CON: Overreliance and False Information: As with any tool used by untrained or inexperienced staff – there is a danger of becoming overly dependent on chatbots. An overreliance on AI chatbots can lead to the neglect of human input and personal touch. These bots have a predictable format and output, and experienced users can easily spot a chatbot’s reply. Additionally, chatbots are not infallible. They often provide incorrect or outdated information based on their training data or due to misunderstanding a chat term or concept.
- PRO: AI-Powered Defense: AI is capable of writing scripts and correcting code. An experienced security team can leverage AI to fill gaps in their skillsets, creating robust scripts to harden a network or remove a virus in mere minutes. By properly leveraging tools like ChatGPT, a team can augment their experienced professionals and take down an otherwise overwhelming task in record time. In addition, analysts can consult with AI chatbots on indicators observed in the network in order to determine whether or not a threat may be present.
- CON: AI-Powered Attack: AI is capable of writing scripts and correcting code – for bad guys. An experienced cybercriminal team can “trick” or otherwise manipulate AI chatbots into writing code that disables anti-virus, bypasses filters, or even encrypts the drives for ransomware. While most chatbots have built-in ethical protections – these are not flawless. Additionally, it’s just a matter of before criminal gangs have code-generating bots of their own. Robust security is more important now than ever before with the advent of this new threat.