US Companies Reportedly Using AI To Surveil Employees

As artificial intelligence (AI) gains prominence worldwide, U.S. companies such as Walgreens and Starbucks recently began using the technology to surveil employees.

Multiple online applications, such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom, have begun using an AI company called “Aware” to check messages from employees.

CNBC previously reported that U.S. organizations like Walmart and Starbucks have used the AI startup to “monitor” their employees’ private messages.

“Huge U.S. employers such as Walmart, Delta Air Lines, T-Mobile, Chevron and Starbucks, as well as European brands including Nestle and AstraZeneca, have turned to a seven-year-old startup, Aware, to monitor chatter among their rank and file, according to the company,” CNBC wrote.

The outlet added that the companies used “anonymized data in Aware’s analytics product” to see how employees of a specific demographic viewed a new corporate policy or marketing campaign.

“Aware said Walmart, T-Mobile, Chevron and Starbucks use its technology for governance risks and compliance, and that type of work accounts for about 80% of the company’s business,” CNBC reported, noting, “It doesn’t take a dystopian novel enthusiast to see where it could all go very wrong.”

With concerns over AI increasing, the latest report from CNBC does little to assuage Americans’ fears over the technology.

While speaking to Fox Business, a woman expressed concern over AI’s use as a spy tool against those in the workforce.

“I would feel like, I don’t know, like they’re just trying to get something out of me and get me in trouble or something. I don’t know, it would be very sneaky,” the woman told Fox Business’ Lydia Hu.

Another woman told Fox Business that she’s seen how “flawed” AI is, saying investing in the technology would not serve a purpose.

“I’ve seen A.I. being used firsthand, and it’s so flawed and so messed up that I just think it wouldn’t be a useful investment of anyone’s time or money anyways. And that just doesn’t really foster a trustworthy kind of business vibe,” the woman said.

With the 2024 presidential election nearing, officials are sounding the alarm against AI, fearing the technology could be used nefariously to influence the forthcoming election.

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