Letter – When ‘AI’ is  not ‘All In’

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

There seems to be a lot of excitement, and not a little concern, being aired about the use of AI – Artificial Intelligence – in creating works and communication in modern society. 

The largest technology companies are racing to offer AI-driven products. Basically, these programs allow anyone to enter a prompt in their computer that can be turned into a full-scale document sown from millions of data sources on the internet. 

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Educators are perhaps the first group in which this is a cause for alarm. Students may be inclined to use AI to create their work, rather than rely on their own wit and wisdom. A second concern may be seen in the accuracy of the information that is gathered. Online content is often provided by individuals and the source may be false or misleading. For instance, most school systems caution students in the use of online encyclopedias because the content may be inaccurate or dubious. AI will not make the distinction between fact and fiction. 

In an article published by the Federal Register of the National Archives on March 16, the copyright office of the Library of Congress officially stated that AI-created content may not be copyrighted. This fact may also lead to a greater conversation about the integrity of a work that a business may use as a tool. Is AI-generated work something that a business wants to present or publish? If it is officially published as part of a larger document, will it still be covered under an overarching copyright policy? 

Students will want to note that many school systems are aggressively pursuing AI-detection software to combat its misuse. The decision to use an AI resource ultimately will come down to the individual’s personal opinion of integrity and the importance of intellectual property.


Kevin M Segner