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Opinion Editorials

AI ethics: What we have to figure out, and soon

The growth of AI like ChatGPT and OpenAI has led to a lot of questions, and as of yet, we’re still figuring out the answers.

A human hand reaches out to a robot hand against a pale blue and white background. AI ethics have regularly come into play, and now more than ever.

When I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Advertising, I never imagined that any part of my job could even be outsourced, let alone automated. 

Yet here AI content generation is doing at least in part, things that used to be insulting hyperbole (in non high tech circles) just a few years ago. 

‘Photoshop? What, so the computer draws for you?’, that kind of thing. 

AI content, which I’ll call AIC for the rest of the article, is raising a lot of questions around morality, ethics, and legality.

Is it moral to create an image for fun? For your own personal blog? For a monetized blog? For a client? For a contest? For an AIC specific contest? Joe Biden giving a speech on his new Pokemon related bill falls under artistic parody…but would a fake leaked video of him discussing stomping puppies to death be defamation? What if it was the head of Apple ‘saying’ something that caused their stock to dip? Does deepfake porn fall under revengeporn laws or under libel? Does the fact that spoken voice and moving actions can take over jpeg deepfakes make a difference to any standing laws?

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Is it ethical to use a text generating AI for paid blog outlines? How about the blog itself? Does an author deserve a byline if all they did was fact check and edit AIC? Can they even be called an author? 

Should job creators ask whether a writing/art sample was guided or mostly created by AI? Is it ethical/moral/legal to represent oneself as a graphic artist with a good enough command of AIC (maybe they’ll get the hang of those fingers and teeth eventually after all)? 

Can an industry veteran still command compensation commensurate with their years of experience if they aren’t actually doing the lion’s share of the writing, and is it ethical for top brass who say ‘No’ to lay such a person off…or just “at will” fire them entirely for not being able to produce as much as cheaply?  

You know this is a great moment to stop and remember how John Henry died at the end of his story. 

On the flip side, would a six-figure writer who flips using mostly AIC be acting unethically collecting the same salary? At what point does the balance tip? Does ideation count for anything?

And this is all working world stuff! Won’t somebody think of the children? 

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I’m no stranger to having my essays run through a plagiarism bot (incidentally, am I only not prickly about non-generative AI?), but how in the hell do you check for AIC in school projects? Fact checking and scanning for repetitive sentences won’t be the saving grace forever—or even now if you’re dealing with the smart, bored kids. 

I’m posing good deal of questions here with no answers, and that’s by design. Sometimes dealing in hypotheticals is healthy! 

Being millennial aged, I remember the last wave of ‘We can’t keep up with these new tech things in law’ very vividly with regards to social media, and cyber bullying before that. For right now, there is only to remind people that these questions will be answered, and to start C-ing their A’s with good behavior before company policies and state law catch up. 

Tomorrow is always coming. 

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You can't spell "Together" without TGOT: That Goth Over There. Staff Writer, April Bingham, is that goth; and she's all about building bridges— both metaphorically between artistry and entrepreneurship, and literally with tools she probably shouldn't be allowed to learn how to use.


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