Businesses Monitoring Employee Communications

CNBC reports in an article, How Walmart, Delta, Chevron and Starbucks are using AI to monitor employee messages, there is a strong likelihood that artificial intelligence is scrutinizing your communications on platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and similar apps. Major corporations like Walmart, Delta Air Lines, T-Mobile, Chevron, Starbucks, Nestle, and AstraZeneca, have enlisted the services of Aware to oversee conversations among their employees, the company reports.

Jeff Schumann, co-founder and CEO of Aware, the Columbus, Ohio-based startup, justifies this approach, saying how this AI technology helps companies “understand the risk within their communications.” “Getting a read on employee sentiment in real time, rather than depending on an annual or twice-per-year survey. Using the anonymized data in Aware’s analytics product, clients can see how employees of a certain age group or in a particular geography are responding to a new corporate policy or marketing campaign,” according to Schumann. “Aware’s dozens of AI models, built to read text and process images, can also identify bullying, harassment, discrimination, noncompliance, pornography, nudity and other behaviors.”

Aware has reported that its database holds messages accounting for approximately 20 billion unique interactions among over 3 million employees. Annually Aware produces a report based on the collection of  information gathered. In 2023, the tally reached 6.5 billion messages sent within major corporations, calculating potential risk factors and assessing the mood within the workplace. Schumann describes the trillions of messages exchanged annually through corporate communication channels as “the world’s most rapidly expanding unstructured data set.”

“It’s always tracking real-time employee sentiment, and it’s always tracking real-time toxicity,” Schumann said of the analytics tool. “If you were a bank using Aware and the sentiment of the workforce spiked in the last 20 minutes, it’s because they’re talking about something positively, collectively. The technology would be able to tell them whatever it was.”

Jutta Williams, co-founder of AI accountability nonprofit Humane Intelligence, told CNBC: “A lot of this becomes thought crime.” She added, “This is treating people like inventory in a way I’ve not seen.”

Amba Kak, executive director of the AI Now Institute at New York University, has serious concerns about the practice of using AI this way. “It results in a chilling effect on what people are saying in the workplace,” said Kak, adding that the Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have all expressed concerns on the matter, though she wasn’t speaking specifically about Aware’s technology. “These are not as much worker rights issues as they are privacy issues.”

AI Gone Wild

Ai Gone Wild, The DiJulius GroupIn a Times article, Delivery Firm’s AI Chatbot Goes Rogue, Curses at Customer and Criticizes Company, an AI customer service chatbot, used by DPD, a package deliver company, used profanity with an upset customer, then told them a joke, and finally criticized the company as the “worst delivery firm in the world”. All of this was prompted by the customer.


Chatbot Sells a Car for $1

Several car dealerships have incorporated AI and ChatGPT powered conversational tools, as a way to provide responsive, personalized information to customers. But some dealers are learning the hard way that these automated systems need proper oversight to prevent unintended answers. A customer was allowed to negotiate purchasing a 2024 Chevy Tahoe for $1 with a chatbot at a Chevy dealership. The customer posted his communication on X (formerly Twitter) which has over 20 million views.

Chatbot, The DiJulius Group


KeyBank goes from Bottom to Top Bank in Customer Satisfaction

We are so proud to announce, that our beloved consulting client, KeyBank has risen from second last (in 2020) to #3 today, according to the most recent J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Advice Satisfaction Study. We have been consulting with KeyBank since 2022 and their Net Promoter Scores (NPS) have dramatically risen during this time. In fact, last quarter (Q4 ’24), KeyBank hit its highest NPS rating in the history of the company.

Screenshot 2024 03 21 At 3.46.16 PM, The DiJulius Group

*Related – How KeyBank Raised their NPS and CSAT Scores


Leadership Development and Training

Last Chance to Register for our Next CX Academy April 16-18, 2024

leadership training

The Customer Xperience Executive Academy (CXEA) is similar to a master’s degree in Customer Experience. The Customer Experience Executive Academy course is a 12-month part-time rigorous program. Training will occur in the classroom, in businesses, and virtually through scheduled calls and webinars. The CXE student is required to attend quarterly intensive training sessions (3 days/quarter for 1 year) and participate in virtual meetings. Contact to learn more.

Customer Service Revolution Podcast Episode 148: Find out what Dating and Customer Service have in Common

Photo Mar 02 2024 11 39 09 AM 1, The DiJulius GroupJohn interviews Lakshmi Rengarajan who is a leading researcher on dating and the host of the Later Dater Today podcast, and speaker. Hear about her crossover from working in the dating industry to how and why WeWork hired her to focus on relationships at work. Listen to Episode 148: Find out what dating and customer service have in common


CX Video of the Week:

Have to vs Get to

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Thursday April 18:  Presenting to get Ahead in the Corporate World

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About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.