The Associated Press (AP) has released new guidelines for its journalists on the ethical use of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, emphasizing that human reporters remain central to AP's mission of accuracy and fairness.
While cautious experimentation is allowed, the standards prohibit publishing AI-generated content directly or using it as a reporting shortcut. Images must not be altered through AI, and information fed into models should be non-confidential. Overall, AP urges diligence in verifying AI material, stating technology makes disinformation easier to produce, often indistinguishable from reality.
The standards address the following:
- Collaboration with OpenAI: AP's licensing accord with OpenAI permits experimental use of ChatGPT. However, this AI tool should not be the used to generate publishable content.
- Generative AI Output: All content stemming from generative AI tools are considered unvetted source material. AP's rigorous sourcing standards will be applied, underscoring the continued reliance on human editorial judgment.
- Integrity of Multimedia Content: AP's photos, videos, or audio will remain authentic. Generative AI's capabilities should not be used to modify these media elements in any way, ensuring that the sanctity of original content remains intact.
- AI-Generated Imagery: While AP will abstain from transmitting misleading AI-generated images, they might consider AI-generated illustrations or art pertinent to a news story, provided they are appropriately captioned.
- Data Protection: Confidential or sensitive information should not be put in ChatGPT
- Vigilance with External Sources: AP's commitment extends beyond its internal content. The institution encourages its journalists to be discerning regarding external AI-generated content, reemphasizing the importance of the human element in validating news authenticity.
- Mitigating Misinformation: AP underscores the importance of traditional investigative practices such as reverse image searches and cross-referencing with trusted media outlets to uphold content authenticity.
- Authenticity: AP’s overarching principle remains clear; if there's any uncertainty about the authenticity of content, journalists should not use it.
Other major outlets have also outlined cautions on journalist using generative AI, but AP is the first to publicly release comprehensive guidelines. Their policy details will likely continue to evolve with the technology.
For now, AP's standards cement the principle that human judgement, not AI, will continue driving its news reporting. The guidelines help equip journalists to harness AI's potential while minimizing risks. As more immersive generative technologies emerge, maintaining public trust increasingly hinges on transparency and vigilance.