PRSA Releases Guidance on Artificial Intelligence

PRSA released “Promise & Pitfalls: The Ethical Use of AI for Public Relations Practitioners,” an extensive framework that follows PRSA’s Code of Ethics, and provides best practices on preventing and managing potential ethical challenges that may arise from the improper use of AI tools. The organization’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) authored the report following extensive research, expert input and peer review.

“Since its formation in 1947, and the creation of its Code of Ethics in 1950, PRSA has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to ethical behavior in the profession,” said Michelle Egan, APR, Fellow PRSA, 2023 PRSA Chair. “AI is among the most significant advancements we’ve faced in recent history and will revolutionize how we approach our jobs. The release of ‘Promise & Pitfalls’ will contribute to the ongoing discussion around AI, and advance the important work being done around the ethical use of the technology in the public relations profession.”

Added Mark Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, 2023 Chair of BEPS, “Artificial intelligence in various forms has been in use for decades (the term itself was first coined in 1956), but the rise in popularity of ChatGPT and other ’generative’ models created a new sense of urgency in terms of understanding how these tools operate, and their potential for positive and negative outcomes. Without this knowledge, the community of public relations practitioners risks omitting the essential human element it is meant to serve.”

“Promise & Pitfalls” focuses on five provisions found in PRSA’s Code of Ethics with each defined and examined in terms of how they relate to generative AI tools, coupled with examples of improper and proper use.

The provisions include:

· Free Flow of Information

· Disclosure of Information

· Competition

· Safeguarding Confidences

· Enhancing the Profession

The guidance concludes with a cost-benefit analysis for the use of generative AI tools.

“Promise & Pitfalls” complements an extensive list of resources PRSA has curated over the past several years to educate members and communications practitioners on emerging AI technologies, tools and services. Featured content on PRSA’s AI Insights webpage include Strategies & Tactics articles, webinars, and blog posts, among others.

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