Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to have a significant impact on the communications sector, ranging from "game-changing" to "like an earthquake".*
M&C Saatchi Group South Africa’s public relations, strategic communications and reputation management agency claims the framework is the first of its kind in the global communications industry and has made it available on an open source basis for the global PR industry.
“In making it open-source, we want to proactively addresses the multifaceted risks associated with AI by emphasising transparency, accountability, comprehension, responsibility, sustainability, and privacy in our industry,” says Jacques Burger, founding partner & group CEO for the M&C Saatchi Group in South Africa.
Developed in conjunction with Emile Ormond, a PhD Candidate at the University of South Africa, completing his research on the risk governance of Ai ethics, the framework has also been moderated by global comms advisory and veteran, Stephen Waddington, who is currently completing his PhD at Leeds Business School.
Chris Lazley, partner and executive creative director at Razor explains that the new tools are necessary to develop a very real gap in ethical management and implementation of AI in the creative industries.
“The use of AI has accelerated quickly over the last year, but what has not kept pace is the management of ethics, governance and risk that support the implementation of this in the work we undertake for our clients,” says Lazley.
“While Ai offers a wide range of opportunities across industries, it also presents complex risks. These risks include the spreading of mis- and dis-information —a growing concern within the PR industry — as well as data privacy issues,” adds Dustin Chick, partner & managing director at Razor.
Razor's new policy will serve as a compass, guiding the agency and its clients towards ethical and effective AI implementation.
“Our clients charge us with managing reputation and we as an industry need to meet them with the same level of trust and candour in an ever-evolving landscape of AI,” says Chick.
The policy has already been included into the contracts of all Razor’s people and into the master agreements that govern the relationship Razor has with its clients.
“Razor's AI Governance Framework anticipates and mitigates these potential challenges in order to protect its clients’ reputations and build trust within the industry and the public,” says Lazley.
“At the heart of the policy is a principles-based approach, which empowers professionals to make informed and ethical decisions,” he adds.
This is guided by eight interconnected principles that ensure the ethical use of AI, including prioritising human needs, maintaining accountability, and fostering transparency.
In addition, a risk modelled rubric has been developed as a practical tool for translating these values into actionable guidelines and benchmarks.
This rubric takes the form of a series of yes/no questions related to the use of a specific AI tool, in turn generating a risk rating from low to high depending on the answers.
Razor has also dedicated itself to reviewing and updating its policy to remain relevant and responsive to the everchanging AI landscape, as its applications continue to grow and evolve.
*Provoke Media Influence 100