Ethical resource hub.
We understand the power and incredible influence of storytelling and are committed to being thoughtful as we architect this new technology. StoryFit has brought together guidepost resources from multiple disciplines (e.g., Academic, Industry, Non-profit, and Activist) to address not only AI-specific issues, but all areas of ethical concerns in storytelling.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Spiderman (and other heroes throughout time)
AI is a new power, and experts in every industry are developing regulations, controls, and guidelines, especially related to moral and ethical responsibilities. This becomes even more important as we apply this new power to one of the strongest forces in humanity – storytelling.
Because we understand the incredible influence of stories and how AI can amplify them, StoryFit is committed to being thoughtful as we architect this new technology. In this pursuit, we’ve brought together guidepost resources from multiple disciplines (e.g., Academic, Industry, Non-profit, and Activist) to address not only AI-specific issues but all areas of ethical concerns in storytelling. At its inception, we have curated over 70 articles and included over 20 thought leaders. We sincerely hope you enjoy and utilize the hub.
– Monica Landers
How StoryFit approaches bias and ethics.
At StoryFit, we take bias and ethical concerns seriously because they have a broad impact ranging from potential audience effects, copyright and structural-equity issues, and data collections. We have practices to anticipate and mitigate potential issues, including human-research protection trained analysts.
In addition, we understand these issues come up inevitably and unexpectedly due to innovation. So we have created this Ethical Resource Hub that allows us to adapt in an agile fashion. StoryFit researchers use this resource to anticipate the ethical consequences of how their data may be influencing content or marketing efforts.
Bias in stories & ethical considerations for AI
One of the keys to mitigating bias resulting from AI-based insights about stories is by recognizing that algorithms and predictive models have human origins. These origins include the biases of the researchers, the study participants, the audience members, the creatives who originally generated the story and their cultural context, as well as the interpretation and strategy suggestions that result from model predictions.
Pattern-recognition technologies may serve to reinforce or amplify any of the biases present in these origins. Thus, StoryFit leverages research that goes beyond historical, correlational data to include experimental data, cultural and media theories, and ethics discussions in industry and academic literature, to guide human decision-making.
The Ethical Hub resources present a broad array of different ethical concerns and frameworks for understanding the discussions regarding AI in storytelling. In addition, these resources serve to focus attention on ethical issues from the past so that future storytellers may anticipate them in their AI decision-making processes.
Academic literature is useful in addressing biases.
The social sciences and the humanities can help determine how to reduce (and understand the impact of) ethical bias. The literature provides frameworks and documented media effects for recognizing and addressing not only biases that could reinforce harmful social structures (e.g., ableism, racism, sexism, classism), but also processes that bias content toward “sameness,” the stifling of creativity, and the rigor of the science behind methods used. Certain frameworks (e.g., critical theory) reveal systems that can help storytellers anticipate morally relevant issues that would otherwise be undetectable. It is not uncommon for story research to center on specific moral issues.
Examples of organizational ethics statements.
Social movements throughout the last century have led organizations to publish documents explaining their specific areas of ethical concern in story content for brand promises and advocacy. Some industry, government-affiliated media, and activist organizations have codified ethical concerns in online documents. We identified 56 online documents from such organizations and clustered them according to specific moral concerns (Representation, Identity, Graphic Content, Children’s issues, etc.) contained within the resource hub.
If you are an organization or entity seeking to publish your statement, you can reference Non-Profit, For-Profit, & State Integrated resources for examples.
Who to follow.
Follow Academics and Activists on Twitter to stay informed
The best way to engage with story ethics is to learn by standing on the shoulders of previous thinkers, as well as to amplify ethical concerns that are under-represented in the public sphere. Consider following some media-ethics thought leaders to get engaged.
1. Safiya Umoja Noble PhD – @safiyanoble
Associate professor at UCLA, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, and author.
2. Tristan Harris – @tristanharris
Co-Founder & President of the Center for Humane Technology, Co-Host of “Your Undivided Attention”, and the primary subject of the acclaimed Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma.”
3. R Colin Tait – @rcolintait
Professor in the Film department at Texas Christian University.
4. Abigail De Kosnik – @De_Kosnik
Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media, Associate Professor in the Berkeley Center for New Media and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, and an affiliated faculty member of Gender & Women’s Studies.
5. Rashida Richardson – rashidarichardson.com/Lawyer and researcher interested in the social and legal implications of “Big Data” and data-driven technologies with a racial justice focus.
6. Dr. Kyra Hunting – @kohunting
Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Kentucky.
7. Dr. Elana Levine – @ehl
Professor of Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
8. Dr. Suzanne Scott – @iheartfatapollo
Assoc. Professor of Media Studies at UT Austin and author of “Fake Geek Girls.”
9. Naomi Klein – @NaomiAKlein
Award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author, senior Correspondent for The Intercept, a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center, and the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.
10. Guillaume Chaslot – @gchaslot
Founder of both consulting firm IntuitiveAI and nonprofit AlgoTransparency, previously, worked at Google and holds a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Maastricht University.
11. Danah Boyd – @zephoria
A Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society.
12. Lawrence Lessig – @lessig
An American academic, attorney, and political activist, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and the former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
13. Douglas Rushkoff – @rushkoff
An American media theorist, writer, columnist, lecturer, graphic novelist, and documentarian.
14. Margot Susca – @MargotSusca
An assistant professor in the journalism division at American University whose work operates at the intersection of investigative journalism and critical communications research.
15. Robert McKee – @McKeeStory
Called, “The Aristotle of our time”, Robert McKee is a Fulbright Scholar, screenwriter, and mentor.