Building an Ethical Framework for Generative AI

20 June 2023
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It doesn’t really matter what industry you are working in. By now you have undoubtedly heard about the great jumps that are being made in Generative AI. ChatGPT, Bard, DALL-E and others have unlocked new possibilities. Many companies and individuals have started to generate content with these tools. On the other hand, more and more voices are rising on how we can remain in control.

What are the ethical implications of generative AI and what are our available options to set guidelines? We take a look at what Leuven University is doing and explore the crucial role of governance in leveraging generative AI responsibly.

Ethical Considerations

The ethical concerns surrounding generative AI are significant. The potential for developing misinformation, plagiarism, and harmful content raises questions about mitigating these risks. Although safeguards exist to prevent basic abuse, determined malicious actors can exploit loopholes, necessitating stronger measures. Additionally, safeguarding privacy, security, and adhering to policies is crucial when employing these tools. Organizations must ensure proper usage and protect their data from models that continuously rely on it for improvement. So, where do we go from here.

Exploring the Options

You might just consider not use any of these tools. This could be a choice like any other… But what would the impact be for your organization if you don’t, and all your competitors do Ethical considerations should always guide choices, but harnessing generative AI within a controlled environment can unlock significant advantages. Areas such as marketing, product development, research, process automation, and data analysis can all be elevated to new heights through these powerful tools. With the right oversight and expertise, organizations can generate substantial value in minimal time.

The Significance of Governance

Governance plays a vital role in addressing concerns and maintaining control over the use of generative AI. Some institution lead the way: the University of Leuven has taken commendable steps in this direction by providing clear guidelines for researchers and students on the responsible application of generative AI. These guidelines not only demonstrate KU Leuven's commitment to the subject but also emphasize the institution's recognition of the transformative potential of generative AI. By establishing such guidelines, stakeholders receive valuable insights into KU Leuven's expectations for AI usage.

Of course, this is just one small element of a much larger framework where organizations need to protect their data, check generated content, determine access and how output of generative AI is used and who bears responsibility if something goes wrong. For most organisations there is still a long road to go to ensure that generated AI can be used in the correct manner.

What to do next?

While governance cannot single-handedly solve all challenges associated with generative AI, it represents an essential mechanism for responsible use. Establishing policies, procedures, and control mechanisms is crucial, but it's equally important to initiate the process. To create a safe environment, organizations must gain a deep understanding of the tools and models they plan to employ, assess associated risks, identify responsible individuals, quantify the value at stake, and develop strategies to mitigate any negative effects. By conducting a thorough analysis, organizations can confidently integrate generative AI while minimizing potential pitfalls.

As organizations embrace this technology, they must prioritize the protection of data, diligent content monitoring, access management, and accountability frameworks. By doing so, they pave the way for a future where generative AI thrives within ethical boundaries. Want to find out what we can do for your organisation? Contact us and we would be glad to have a chat.