Many people, including 71% of entrepreneurs like you, worry about the impact of AI on their work, their business and society in general. On the other hand: having a machine do the boring, repetitive things will make work quicker, more fun and more satisfying for everyone. It will also save you time and money, making your company more productive and profitable. But you and your employees probably have concerns as well. In this manifesto, we give you our vision of how AI should and should not be used and how we can build a meaningful, efficient and profitable future workplace with AI.
We surveyed our customers on how they felt about AI. Our research showed that 53% of Rinkel users already used some AI tooling. 79% have a (very) positive opinion about AI. The top 3 emotions they feel around the subject are curiosity, fascination and amazement. At the same time, many (71%) of them indicated worry about the impact of AI on society. They mentioned privacy loss, deep fakes, inaccurate information and social disruption as possible risks. We share those worries.
AI is a technology that should be used with care and common sense. Like all other technologies, AI can be used in irresponsible or just plain evil ways. We want to be on the side of the good guys, and we assume you want the same.
For us at Rinkel, the ‘off’ switch is the most crucial switch on a phone if you want to maintain a healthy work-life balance, control your time and have plenty of room for deep, focused work. AI is going to change how we work, but it will never change our mission.
If applied in the right way, AI technology can help us accomplish that mission: to help you run your business without sacrificing every evening and weekend or having your employees do unsatisfying work. But, even though we love technology, we’re not about technology. AI, and especially the GPT language model, is the catalyst for many possibilities. How we use these possibilities is up to us.
And the question should always be: does it contribute to creating more space and time for you and the people that work for you? We only build the features that do.
As we help you transform your business, we are changing our own. In the next few years, Rinkel will become an AI-driven innovation powerhouse. Rinkel AI will be an extension of you: it will be your digital co-worker. The employee that does tedious jobs in seconds and helps you reclaim your time, energy and enthusiasm to spend on more meaningful work and the non-work things that make life worth living.
To make these transformations successful, we need an ethical framework. A set of principles that guides us in implementing new technologies responsibly.
With technology as new and disruptive as this, there’s always resistance and fear. As a business owner, this may affect you in two different ways: first, your people may have reservations about AI and data usage. Second, you yourself may be worrying about where AI will take your life and business.
What will happen to my job if things get automated? Will AI tell me how to do my work? Will my every move be recorded and analyzed? Will generative AI like ChatGPT and bots replace all human contact and creation?
These are legitimate questions that every company should address before adopting any AI technology. And if you do, do it in a conscious, metered way. This will give your employees (and you) a chance to see the technology in action and see the value before you decide to change everything and turn every existing business process on its head with AI.
Our research shows that most people see AI’s importance in helping them do their work better and more efficiently. And even the ones that initially don’t acknowledge the value can be taken along for the journey if they feel their concerns are being adequately heard and safeguards are in place.
As we explore the uncharted territory of AI innovation, we need guiding principles to ensure we make the right decisions when faced with choices we’ve never had to make before. At Rinkel, we have big plans with AI. But we also want to do the right thing. This is why we formulated our 4 principles for responsible AI.
At every stage, we need to have frank, open and continuous discussions about privacy, possible risks and the value AI delivers. We have these discussions every day, internally and with our users, and we’re more than willing to have them with you and your employees.
Before experimenting with AI, be sure you fully comply with all current legislation. Under the GDPR, you need permission from your clients and employees to use their data. Also, the EU recently passed the AI Act, limiting what companies can do with AI and data. Depending on your line of work, specific data may already be barred from use in AI applications. For example, phone conversations in legal or medical contexts contain extremely sensitive information. Before you analyze any data, make 100% sure you’re not breaking the law. Everything we develop always complies with regulations and never puts your data at risk. We will never feed your data into a public AI model like ChatGPT, which stores it all and sometimes uses it in unexpected ways.
AI is about getting value from data, not unthinkingly gathering as much data as possible. As we expand the AI capabilities of our products, we strive to build everything so that we only store what is needed to help you do your work. We don’t have a ‘hidden database’ where all your data is stored and exploited for profit. We will always provide you with plenty of options and configurations to set the level of data use and retention you are comfortable with.
Successful AI starts with user trust. You will lose this trust if you use people’s data without explicit permission. If you do this, you create resistance to innovation, eventually bringing your AI efforts to a standstill. Tell people which data you use and what you do with them. Then, get their explicit opt-in. If they opt out, honor that choice, whatever happens. This is the right way. And, for us, it is the only way.
Are you curious about the possibilities of AI for your business? Or worried about the implications of all these new technologies? Or, like most, a bit of both? Talk to us and ask us all your questions. You can call, email, chat or send a WhatsApp message from our contact page.
In 2014, we founded Rinkel with a clear vision to radically change how businesses communicate with their customers. We designed and developed the idea of an accessible telephone switchboard for small businesses that provides a virtual business number on your mobile phone or computer. No fixed contracts or slow support, just simply Rinkel!