Welcome to day 22 of our advent calendar. Today, we’re looking at the gap between AI’s potential and UK charities' approach to it.
While AI offers multiple different possibilities, its implementation in the charity sector often falls short. Charities do recognise AI's relevance, with 78% agreeing it could transform their work, yet 73% feel unprepared for it.
But what's driving these numbers?
One of the big challenges here is the rate at which AI is evolving relative to other technology. There’s a huge amount of money and talent being poured into the field due to the massive potential for impact and profit, making it a full-time job to stay on top of developments and work out how they might be relevant for your organisation.
AI also comes with some ethical concerns that charities might not be quick to write off - for example, it’s probably harder to advocate for using ChatGPT to replace your social media team if you’re a charity whose goal is to reduce unemployment.
But it’s not black and white. With AI, you really can do less with more. But AI is a tool - it should never be used to replace the value real flesh and blood humans bring to work. For example, you should never use Dall-e to replace a graphics designer - instead, your graphics designer should be the one marshalling Dall-e. Their rate of work would speed up, they could do more in less time, and you raise the bar across the board.
These ethical considerations mean many miss out on leveraging AI for tasks like data analysis and making their workflows more efficient.
Although this might look like a missed opportunity, we understand that there's a lot of thought and consideration that goes into onboarding a tool when it's not clear if it's aligned with an organisation's values and social mission.
Where do you stand? Have you seen examples where charities effectively integrated AI into their workflows without having to compromise on their values and ethics?