For anyone who’s paid attention to tech trends over the last 20 years or so, there’s often a pattern to the release of the latest and greatest innovation. Whether it’s VR, blockchain, the Internet of Things or indeed artificial intelligence, we’re all susceptible to that volatile blend of overexcitement and enthusiasm, followed by a period of cynicism and disillusionment before the real, long-term value of a technology reveals itself.
As you may be aware, this phenomenon is typically referred to as the Hype Cycle – a 5 stage process that conveniently captures the rollercoaster of investment, attention and emotion associated with the journey of a particular technology.
In 2023, we saw artificial intelligence gain a foothold in the public consciousness like never before. At the start of the year, many people could still be forgiven for thinking of AI as science fiction rather than science fact. Yet by the end of 2023 there were few people who hadn’t engaged in conversations about ChatGPT and “where we’re heading” as a society.
With the hype around AI now reaching a crescendo, I’ve frequently been asked: Is AI overhyped? and Are you using AI at Hicomply?
In short: the answers are “yes” and “yes”.
It’s not to demean the value of progress in the field of artificial intelligence to state that much of the chatter is overblown at this point in time. It’s simply that we’ve seen this Hype Cycle many times before. AI won’t take everyone’s jobs, run our lives or end humanity overnight.
That’s not to say that it’s not proving itself to be impactful in the here and now. At Hicomply we are rolling out our first iteration AI tool this month (January 2024) to enhance the usability of our platform and take on more of the heavy lifting for our clients to help them achieve and maintain compliance.
We understand that AI has an important role to play in the evolution of our platform which is a digital information security management system (ISMS) to help businesses to gain business critical compliance standards such as ISO 27001, NIST, SOC 2 and PCI/DSS. Artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions undoubtedly give us the ability to enhance the capabilities of our software and help organisations stay compliant without distracting them from their day-to-day business activities.
Our AI initiative will focus on introducing a number of valuable features automating many of the content tasks required for document management, a new Help Assistant, which answers users’ common questions, guides them to relevant content from our library and give them the benefit of the expertise drawn from our consultant network.
Alongside this, we have launched our Evidence Mapping automation engine. This valuable tool will scour emails and documents to gather evidence for users – typically sourcing information based on pre-set rules to maintain a business’s evidence logs. In the coming weeks an upgrade to the platform will map relevant content against an associated standard and its controls.
Finally, our first release will include a Risk Assessment feature, mapping risks against core assets automatically. Version 2.0 of this tool will be capable of supplementing these risks with real-time data and suggestions.
For a more comprehensive overview of what’s available on the platform, visit our AI platform page.
Most importantly, I think, is that our team have listened to our users and applied the platform feedback we receive to develop AI solutions that solve real problems. While there are undoubtedly innovations in machine learning that are experimental and lacking a real-world application right now, we are more focused on developing the best functionality we can for customers.
Our AI product enhancements and automations will be released on a rolling basis over the course of the year, with new innovations being beta tested all the time. Crucially, though, we’re only bringing functionality to market that accelerates the route to compliance, eases the burden on internal resource or even saves on external consultancy fees.