25. April 2023
The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies such as ChatGPT in public affairs has the potential to significantly transform public service delivery and citizen engagement. While these tools hold tremendous potential for improving public service delivery and enhancing citizen engagement, they also raise important ethical considerations that must be carefully addressed.
The most pressing concern is the potential for AI and ChatGPT to perpetuate bias, disinformation and discrimination. For public affairs professionals, this can pose an insurmountable challenge – especially when they lack expertise in a certain field. To address this issue, it is crucial to ensure that requests for information are adequately formulated and provide sufficient guidelines to the chatbot so that it is aware of potential pitfalls.
Transparency is another critical ethical consideration when it comes to the use of AI and NLP in public affairs. It is essential that the broader public has a clear understanding of how these technologies are being used to inform policy decisions and to deliver public services. Public affairs professionals must be transparent about the data inputs and algorithms that are being used to generate insights and recommendations, as well as the potential limitations and risks of these technologies.
Best practices for ensuring that these ethical and governance considerations are addressed in the use of AI and ChatGPT include engaging in ongoing dialogue and collaboration with all stakeholders, including policymakers, civil society organizations, and affected communities. Additionally, there should be a commitment to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of these technologies to ensure that they are delivering on their intended goals and not causing any unintended negative consequences.
Granted, many of the issues currently plaguing such services could be ironed out as they grow, develop and learn. But for the time being, as AI is slowly being integrated into the workflow of public affairs and policy professionals, these problems remain an ever-present ethical dilemma that should be addressed both on an individual and a government level.
To ensure that these ethical challenges are addressed in the use of AI and ChatGPT in public affairs, public affairs professionals should adopt best practices such as conducting regular ethical assessments of their AI and NLP systems, establishing clear guidelines and standards for the use of these tools, and constantly keeping up to date on best practices for their use.
The RPP Center of Competence for AI and ChatGPT in public affairs has already begun its work developing such robust guidelines and boasts a wide range of best practice examples which will be of tremendous use to any professional looking to expand their skills. The training session dedicated to the ethics and governance of such technologies is an essential material for any public affairs expert eager to be one step ahead of the competition.