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Keeping an eye on AI

Unless you’ve lived for the last year in a remote paradise beyond the internet (we’re a little bit jealous if you have) you’ve probably tried to get to grips with Chat GPT and the general buzz about AI. Here at Circul8 we certainly have. There are lots of ways Chat GPT can speed up tasks, including helping summarise long documents into ‘social media sized’ chunks of content.

That’s where a recent project for Outloud (an awesome youth arts organisation based in Bankstown) gave us pause for thought. We were tasked with promoting ‘REIMAGINE’, their specially commissioned report on the issues and opportunities facing the Western Sydney art community. The report is 35 pages of fairly academic observation and analysis. Not easy to turn into approachable content fighting for attention against social media’s stream of eye treats.

So an obvious shortcut would be to use ChatGPT to help cut the report down into something useable. That’s where the problem comes in, and it’s one we all need to be aware of if we’re trying to use technology for a better, fairer world.

Samantha Stimson, the writer of the document provides a detailed description of her research methodology and how it involved ‘an ethical obligation to listen out for otherness, for opinions that challenge and clash with one’s own’.

While there’s been plenty of breathless hype about the transformative potential of AI, there’s also plenty of commentary about the possibility of bias, due to the human aspect of what AI learns from. Biased opinions or data in, biased results out. So using ChatGPT to summarise a report that had been so carefully prepared to remain neutral felt like the wrong approach.

Our solution was to use direct quotes from the report as we felt it was closer to the spirit of ‘not seeking to smooth over difference’ that the writer intended. Of course, this is a relatively small example of AI bias having any potential effect.

The bigger issue is when AI becomes ubiquitous, potentially causing the further alienation of minority or nuanced concerns as culture and communication regress to an algorithmically generated average.

At Circul8 we believe that technology has the power to change the world for the better. We’ll be keeping a watchful eye on AI to make sure we understand how we best use it to achieve our mission of ‘enriching tomorrow’.

By Creative Strategy Partner Phil Watson



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