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Navigating the ethical landscape of AI in broadcasting

As the founder of a company specialising in broadcast IT, I’ve witnessed how machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have become integral to our daily lives, igniting discussions among even the least tech-savvy. But with AI’s integration into everyday lives comes pressing questions about ethics—what does mean, and how do ethics apply in the world of AI anyway?

 

For some, the phrase “AI ethics” might conjure images of futuristic robot uprisings. For others, it prompts thoughts of laws ensuring that AI systems operate within ethical frameworks to avoid causing harm. Tech enthusiasts might dream of crafting predictable, relationship-capable robots, while entrepreneurs could worry about AI’s potential misuse, such as in hacking or copyright piracy. Meanwhile, governments are busy crafting legislation to ensure AI development stays within ethical bounds. As you can see, there is a LOT going on within the AI scene.

 

But there’s a fundamental dilemma here, and one that we aren’t thinking about enough: where do ethics fit into this whole AI thing? There are a lot of questions here but let me start with this one – when we programme machines to be creative, give them the input that makes our own brains tick, but forbid them from taking human life, does that make any other form of harm acceptable? If causing physical pain is unethical, what about mental suffering? Under the current guidelines, AI might prioritise self-preservation to avoid its own termination. And that feels like it could get murky.

 

You see, ethics are inherently fluid and mean different things to different people, which in and of itself raises several questions. For example, who are we to dictate “proper” behaviour to machines when our own standards are inconsistent? Should an AI system have the ability to shut down if it deems itself “too upset,” and is it even appropriate to attribute such emotional states to machines? In attempting to instil our morality into machines, are we enhancing AI with our highest ethical standards, or are we risking corrupting it with our own moral failings?

 

And what does true morality entail, anyway?

 

There is no final answer to this yet, but we do need to start thinking about it more critically. As we discuss AI ethics, it’s crucial to remember that culture is a key carrier of ethical values. At its core—what I call “cultural intrinsics”—are the fundamental values that inform high-level ethical decisions. These are not biological like DNA but are essential for understanding and shaping AI ethics. In framing these discussions, we must ensure that AI contributes positively to our world, guided by the values we embed rather than merely advancing its own agenda. Let’s consider AI not just as a technological tool but as a cultural entity, shaped by the ethics we instil.

 

We need to engage in this dialogue and shape a future where AI and humanity evolve together, ethically and harmoniously. What steps can we take today to ensure that AI remains a force for good? How can your actions influence the future of AI in broadcasting and beyond?

Written By,
Ramesh Ganapathy

Editted By,
Anandhi Gopinanth

 



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