Kerry portrait

The CIPR’s Artificial Intelligence Panel (#AIinPR) has backed guidelines proposed by the European Commission that promote an ethics-driven approaches to AI.

Kerry portraitKerry Sheehan, CIPR LPS Committee Member and Deputy Chair of the institute’s AI panel, called on colleagues to support organisations in considering ethical codes when developing AI tools and usage.

The European Commission’s draft guidelines were published in December 2018. They set out a framework for establishing trustworthy AI. In its response, the #AIinPR Panel supported the guidelines which seek to avoid biases in AI algorithms. These biases can prejudice the way machines and platforms learn and behave. The Panel also called for PR professionals to adopt a leadership role to help businesses navigate the ethical challenges posed by AI.

Kerry said: “Our reliance on AI in society is set to deepen giving rise to ethical issues as we turn over to algorithms in our homes, businesses and elsewhere. PR professionals have a role helping organisations lay the groundwork for local codes of ethics in AI.”

She added: “It’s why the CIPR #AIinPR panel is supporting the guidance being proposed European Commission as a framework for promoting ethics driven approaches to AI.”

The final version of the EC guidelines will be published in March 2019.

#AIinPR Panel’s plans for 2019

A new website showcasing AI tools and a series of best practice guides on the use of AI in PR will be published as part of the panel’s role in supporting thinking in this developing area.

#AIinPR 2019 plans include:

  • further research paper exploring the application of AI to the professions based on a literature and contemporary paper review
  • launch of the #AIinPR tool website, characterising tools used in PR, classified by function and the application of AI
  • development of an international network of third-party sources to improve AI knowledge and expertise amongst CIPR members
  • series of guides on the application of AI in PR and the media
  • support for CIPR regional and sector groups with #AIinPR content and speakers, following successful Panel events In Scotland, the North East and London.

Kerry said: “The public sector is already making advances with AI and automation and although we can often feel intimidated by change and learning new skills, finding out more about the tech world – we should feel really excited and exhilarated by it as it provides us an opportunity to provide even better work at our organisations and for clients, for the people we want to speak to.”

Abha Thakor, Chartered PR Practitioner


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