BBC Sets Ethical Guidelines for Generative AI Use in Journalism


The BBC, the UK’s largest news organization, has outlined its principles for evaluating the use of generative AI in various aspects of its operations, including journalism, archival work, and personalized experiences. The move is aimed at exploring how generative AI can provide more value to audiences and society.

BBC’s three guiding principles include prioritizing the public’s best interests, respecting the rights of artists to prioritize talent and creativity, and maintaining openness and transparency regarding AI-generated content. The organization plans to collaborate with tech firms, media outlets, and regulators to safely develop generative AI and uphold trust in the news industry.

In the coming months, the BBC will initiate several projects to explore the potential of generative AI across various fields, including journalism research, content production, archive management, and personalized user experiences. However, specific project details have not been disclosed.

The BBC’s stance on generative AI aligns with other news organizations like the Associated Press, which released its guidelines and partnered with OpenAI for training GPT models. Simultaneously, the BBC has taken steps to block web crawlers, including those from OpenAI and Common Crawl, from accessing its websites. This move aims to safeguard copyrighted content and maintain the interests of license fee payers, as unauthorized training of AI models with BBC data is considered against the public interest.

The BBC’s approach to generative AI reflects a broader industry trend as media outlets grapple with balancing the benefits and challenges of AI technologies in journalism and content creation.

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