In this article we are going to explore the ethics of AI-generated content. Do you believe that it should be a legal requirement for businesses to label their AI-auto-generated content appropriately when sharing it with their audience? Or should it be fair game?
What is AI-generated content?
First, let’s take a brief look at what AI-generated content is. While this can broadly relate to artwork, design, and video (to name a few), the focus of this article is going to be on the written word.
Take ChatGPT as an example: this is a tool that can be used to automatically generate written content based on your input or ‘prompt’.
- “Write me a Haiku about love.”
- “Help me finish my homework by creating an in-depth assessment on the impacts of social media on human psychology.”
- “Create a 500-word article in a conversational tone about the ethics of AI-generated content.” (just kidding).
The above are a few examples of how it can be used (although the options are seemingly endless).
Now, on the surface, it seems relatively harmless, right? In fact, it sounds pretty darn awesome! Especially for those who either can’t write or simply can’t be bothered.
The problem is, how does it work?
You see, the artificial intelligence software was essentially ‘exposed’ to the internet and given a wealth of information on a mind-blowing number of topics. Then, when asked a ‘question’ or given a ‘task’, using all of the information it has been exposed to, it comes up with the best possible answer – in accordance with the prompts provided.
Again, it all seems relatively innocent. However, the AI isn’t writing ‘new’ content. What it is doing is using human-written content to piece together something of its own – which raises a plethora of security, privacy, and copyright issues.
It is largely unregulated
Right now there is very little in the way of regulation because it is such a young – and yet rapidly expanding field. This is one of the key reasons why the likes of Elon Musk (and many other tech-experts) are calling out for a temporary halt on AI expansion: because we have no idea what to do with it!
We have quite literally opened Pandora’s box and its immense potential for rapid expansion is, frankly, petrifying.
What we need is time to look at what we’ve learned, study its current capabilities, and then set out some very clear rules and regulations on how it should be used.
Between cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence, it’s no wonder why so many people are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace in which new technology is being introduced.
AI-generated content dilutes authority
One of the key problems with AI-generated content and the fact that anyone can instantly generate and share content on any subject; we’re looking at millions of ‘overnight’ experts populating their websites with countless (unregulated) articles spouting (alleged) facts on subjects they likely know nothing about.
This is dangerous and by allowing it to go unregulated we are diluting authority and putting people at risk.
Here’s a quick scenario:
- Let’s imagine that an individual who has zero experience in digital marketing decides to build a website overnight (using AI).
- They then add hundreds of in-depth SEO-related articles (all of which are AI-auto-generated) and pose themselves as an expert.
- At a glance, they are going to appear to be highly authoritative. However, the reality is, they are in no good position to take people’s money and ‘provide a service’ that they are ill-suited to provide.
This is just one example of how inequitable opportunists will be able to use AI to manipulate and rob people. Why should the individual in this scenario have priority over a long-established and reputable SEO company in Melbourne who genuinely has the capabilities to deliver a superior service?
Should businesses be legally obligated to declare when they share AI-content?
Many people will disagree, but from an ethical perspective, it is fair to say that declaring when you share AI-generated content should be a legal obligation.
The fact is, most internet users won’t care if they are engaging with AI content as long as it is factual and provides them with the information they need. However, what it does is safeguard those with genuine authority and reward businesses who actively invest in people-generated content, rather than putting profit before people.
It’s a touchy and highly complicated subject that has sparked much controversy in recent months. One thing is for certain: it’s going to be very interesting to see how things develop in the coming years.