Looking back at year 2023, the AI hype speeded up everywhere. The possibilities of AI assisted tasks, applications and services go beyond imagination. The fine line between human generated and AI generated content seems to fade away.
When we asked middle school and high school students how they perceive AI avatars or AI generated content in social media, their response was that they do not recognize anymore what is AI generated and what not. And do they care? Not so much. Especially in entertainment content such as endless short videos, memes, influencer posts and the list goes on… but why should they?
AI and artisan pizza
Have you noticed from news journals and media, that AI generated summaries, images and news pieces are marked with a ‘made by AI’ -label? This leaves us as consumers of media to make our own judgement about trustworthiness. Could I be affected by biases or AI hallucinations? Or is this as good as if it was written by a real journalist. Or even better? Which one is more trustworthy? From legislation’s perspective, EU’s AI act advices that with limited risk AI systems users should be made aware that they are acting with AI, so that they can decide whether they want to continue using it.
When will the tables turn so that human made content becomes ‘that something’ special, something that makes us stop and look closer. After some years, perhaps the ‘made by human’ label will raise the content’s value, because it is hand crafted with soul and emotions like a good old vinyl record, artisan pizza or socks knitted by granny. Will human made content be more valued in the future, or is it already now?
Ethics and authenticity as guiding values
I discussed this topic with my colleagues and got a feeling that this is already happening. Gartner is saying in their Top Marketing Predictions and Trends for 2024 forecast, that addressing consumer trust and confidence will become a big issue in near future. Consumers will seek for AI-free solutions, that Gartner calls “acoustic”. Like a vinyl record, like an acoustic guitar, something non-digital and non-artificial. Values such as authenticity and ethics will become more important to consumers and brands that promote those values can differentiate themselves.
We are part of shaping the future
As a designer I can help to find the places and tasks where AI can help best. I can design meaningful combinations between human skills and AI tools. I can use empathy and understanding when people are worried about losing their jobs because of AI. By suggesting different levels of automated and AI assisted work flows, human skills can be valued and emphasized even more. Human-centered design gets an even clearer meaning.
The basis of ethics is to promote good life in just societies and strive for it. How can we do this when creating digital services?
Within ethical design framework we challenge and invite all design stakeholders to join the discussion what ‘good’ means in ethical digitalisation and what kind of society we want to design. This same goes when designing AI systems.
Although the young people we asked didn’t pay much attention to AI vs. human made content, it’s important that as the creators of our digital society we pay attention and use AI as a tool to advance us towards ethical digital. Let’s use AI in a responsible way, think about the consciences and aim for good.
By the way, this text was made by human.
Learn more about applying ethical thinking and evaluation into the design process when experimenting with AI → AI and trust – a match made by ethical design
Ethical Design framework provides helpful tools to reflect on AI related questions.