Can AI Improve your Intranet Experience?

Artificial intelligence (AI) programmes can be traced back to the 1980s, however it’s just in recent years that AI has really taken hold with the arrival of generative AI technology such as ChatGPT. With such a system, machine learning is used to generate human-like responses, catapulting AI into everyday use. Virtual assistants such as chatbots and Siri are now commonplace and it’s just a matter of time before AI is incorporated into everyday workplace technologies (if it isn’t already!). The intranet is one such platform where AI could be harnessed to improve the employee experience, but how exactly could it be used? And what should organisations be aware of before opening the AI floodgates? John Nicklin, MD of Sorce, explains.

AI can prove a really useful and powerful tool when it comes to searching for organisation-wide information and documents on the intranet. AI-enabled search functionality could be used to step-up the speed and findability of information with advanced searches providing auto-fill options and recommendations based on the user’s search history and profile. The search results could also be ordered according to relevance, helping to improve the user experience. So for example, AI can help to answer basic employee questions, such as “where can I find the policies folder?” through to common HR queries such as “What is our annual leave policy?” and “Where can I find my benefits information?” With AI helping with the more basic, day-to-day employee support, this allows the intranet and HR teams to spend more time on value-adding activities.


Perhaps one of the main advantages of AI to intranet communications teams is its content creation abilities due to advances in natural language processing. It’s become apparent how progressive ChatGPT is at providing human-like content within seconds of it being asked a question or given a prompt, such as “write me a blog on diversity and inclusion”. This means that intranet content such as news articles, blogs and updates can be drafted in a fraction of the time, enabling internal communicators to spend less time copywriting and more time thinking and acting strategically. Of course, not all AI-generated content will be exactly right the first time with the correct tone for voice, for example. However, internal comms teams can still use AI to produce a first draft which can be easily edited and improved on.

As well as content creation, AI can help with image search and generation. So for example, using AI to quickly and easily source a suitable image to accompany intranet content. This can save time as well as money, especially if photos tend to be purchased from a stock image library or a photographer is regularly employed.

So, AI presents a number of exciting opportunities, helping to take modern intranets to the next level. However, before organisations dive into using AI, they need to be aware of a number of risks and how to best manage them.

Firstly, the content created by AI can be inaccurate, out-of-date or simply irrelevant. AI technologies have also been found to be racist and sexist as all kinds of stereotypes are deeply ingrained in the internet’s content and algorithms. Therefore, it’s crucial for content creators to be aware of potential inaccuracies and biases when using generative AI.

AI-generated content can also infringe copyright with many images found on the internet not free to use or share. Plus, if using AI to source images, users need to question whether the images AI generates are actually suitable for the purposes intended, including whether they’re branding appropriate.

Data privacy is also a significant risk, as AI systems rely on the collection, sharing, merging and analysing of data about individuals and organisations. Gartner analyst Avivah Litan warns that “employees can easily expose sensitive and proprietary enterprise data when interacting with generative AI chatbot solutions. These applications may indefinitely store information captured through user inputs, and even use information to train other models — further compromising confidentiality.” With this in mind, organisations need to be aware of the risks of employees using AI to divulge potentially sensitive organisational information, and how this information might be used and made public moving forward, including to potential competitors.

Therefore, AI presents a multitude of opportunities to improve the intranet experience while allowing internal comms and HR teams to focus on more value-adding activities. However, it’s crucial that leaders are considered in their approach to AI rather than allowing it to seep into the workplace without proper policies and checks. And with 82 per cent of employees already admitting to using AI in the workplace and 83 per cent saying that they trust AI, perhaps now’s the time to consider how you want AI to be used across your organisation and incorporated into your modern intranet moving forward.


John Nicklin

Keeping an eye on future work trends and anticipating our product response, John keeps at the forefront of intranet innovation.