Ethics, AI and PR

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Artificial Intelligence, Future PR

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“I think one of the things that anybody who’s creating content, information, stories-something that will connect with others-has got to be aware of is that at some point in very near future they won’t be needed,” Arrow says, adding her ethical concerns are less about job losses and more about the impact on the stories we tell.

“If it’s a skewed data set and we don’t teach the AI well then it becomes discriminatory, it cuts people out of whatever area of engagement they’re involved with, and that is really detrimental. Microsoft’s Tay is a really tragic example of how a very sensible, innocent, naive AI tool could be corrupted within the space of 24 hours. All of the programming, all of the teaching that’s done is going to be dependent on the ethical stance and moral stance of those who are teaching it to work.”

We might not be ready for it yet, but Arrow believes we’ll have to deal with this level of AI in the next 12 to 18 months, and that we need to have some strong ethical discussions about what’s right and wrong-particularly given the furor over the recent Facebook privacy scandal.

“There has to be some really robust discussion about how it’s going to be used, how people’s emotional states are going to be protected,” she says. “It’s not just data protection, but a protection of humanity-to make sure it’s not manipulated to sell another fizzy drink.”