This Week in PR Ethics (11/2/23): AI Risks, AI Biases, and Bird Ethics

Another week, another round of ethics issues including articles that touch on AI risks, AI biases, and bird ethics.

  • Executive order on managing the risks of AI – On Monday, President Biden issued an executive order on AI regulation with the goal of setting new standards for AI safety and security, protecting Americans’ privacy, and advancing equity and civil rights, among other topics.  This has set off a firestorm of articles, and there are so many ethical issues here – from what the order is trying to address, should government be involved in these and is this the right way to do it?  At a minimum, this helps focus debate and discussion.   


  • Generative AI Bias in images  – We all know there are biases inherent in generative AI.  The PR Council guidelines highlight the need to avoid them.  But a Washington Post article on Wednesday does an outstanding job of showing just how endemic the biases are through images.  This is a must read.

  • Why we need to change the names of 80 birds – The Washington Post hit the home run this week on ethics stories.  I liked this one that talks about a move to rename 80 birds due to them being named after people who were racist or owned slaves.  But this is just a start as they look eventually to change the name of any bird named after a human as it implies possession of a species.  It will be really interesting to see how the communication on this plays out and to discuss the ethical imperatives for doing so (or not doing so)

  • Meta and its ethics board recommendations on drug content monitoring – I never thought I would be referencing High Times on this blog, but you have to love Google alerts.  This article looks at how Meta is seeming to ignore advice from its ethics watchdog regarding how the platform manages posts connected to psychedelics.
Mark McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA
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Mark W. McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the general manager of C+C's Boston office. C+C is a communications agency all about the good and purpose-driven brands. He has more than 20 years of tech and fintech agency experience, served as the 2016 National Chair of PRSA, drove the creation of the PRSA Ethics App and is the host of


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