Why is human assessment critical to the responsible use of generative AI

Generative AI has become extremely advanced and widely used for content creation. While this technology promises many benefits, there are also growing concerns around the potential for harm if deployed irresponsibly. This underscores the critical importance of ongoing human assessment and oversight to ensure generative AI is developed and used responsibly.

Key Takeways:

  • Generative AI can produce high-quality synthetic content at scale, but it also poses risks like spreading misinformation or perpetuating harmful biases if not developed responsibly.
  • Human review of training data, model outputs, use cases and auditing deployed systems is crucial to identify problems early, guide improvements, and ensure accountability.
  • Hybrid workflows combining automated checks and staged human assessment focused on highest areas of risk make oversight feasible at scale.
  • Standardizing assessment protocols, benchmarks and reporting methodology across the generative AI field will enable efficient and collective responsibility.
  • Sustained cooperation between stakeholders across technology, media, government and education is required to steer progress of generative AI positively to benefit society.
Human assessment critical to the responsible use of generative AI

What exactly is generative AI?

Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence capabilities that can create brand new, realistic, high quality artifacts like images, text, video or code. The most popular forms today are text generators like GPT-4 and image generators like DALL-E 3 which can produce human like writing or images simply based on text prompts without requiring training data sets.

How has generative AI progressed so rapidly?

Several key factors have contributed to the rapid progress:

  • Advances in deep learning algorithms like transformers that can model complex relationships in data
  • Increases in computing power through better GPUs that allow training complex models
  • Growth of data used to train the AI models on the nuances of language or visuals
  • Innovations like reinforcement learning and neural architecture search to automatically improve models
  • Investments from tech companies and research labs driving competition
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Together these have massively scaled up capabilities of generative AI over the past decade.

What are risks and concerns associated with generative AI?

As with any transformative technology, there are exciting possibilities but also potential pitfalls if the technology is misused:

  • Disinformation risk: Fake generated text, audio or video could fuel the spread of mis/disinformation at scale.
  • Discrimination risk: Biases in data/systems could lead to unfair, stereotypical or harmful content.
  • Intellectual property violations: Generating copyrighted assets without permission.
  • Security risks: Code vulnerabilities, network manipulation.
  • Job automation concerns: Displacement of human roles in some creative industries.

The speed and scale at which content can be generated makes addressing these risks in generative AI systems an urgent priority. Proactive efforts and vigilance is needed to avoid harm which brings us to the role of human assessment.

Why human review is critical for developing generative AI responsibly

Human assessment serves crucial functions at various stages of developing and deploying generative AI responsibly:

Input Data Reviews

Reviewing and filtering training data/inputs into systems surfaces problematic data like biases or copyrighted content proactively rather than having models amplify issues.

Output Quality Reviews

Evaluating model outputs gives ongoing feedback for improvements around accuracy, relevance, fairness etc. especially when dealing with subjective, contextual or preference based tasks.

Risk Identification Reviews

Having human eyes assessing uses and misuses of the technology lets companies proactively identify and mitigate emerging risks from fake profiles to policy violations and beyond. Risks in new domains often require human judgement.

Effectiveness Benchmarking

Comparative human evaluation establishes benchmarks on quality which drive healthy competition and ensure models are truly adding value rather than amplifying existing issues around misinformation, biases or other unintended impacts.

Result Audits

Auditing samples from deployed generative systems provides accountability around how well AI safeguards are working and adherence to responsible AI principles in practice. Continued vigilance against misuse is key even after initial deployment.

What approaches help enable human assessment in generative AI systems?

To make human assessment feasible at scale, responsible generative AI systems should leverage:

Layered hybrid workflows

Using a mix of automated quality checks + staged human review where risks are highest helps balance cost, speed and responsibility. Prioritization keeps human oversight focused on highest potential areas for harm.

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Risk sampling

Selective overviews based on higher risk indicators like novel contexts, subjective tasks or user reports maximize the value derived from human assessment effort within pragmatic constraints.

Detectability methods

Teams should develop methods enabling humans to efficiently distinguish machine generated vs authentic content so review efforts can focus on synthetic artifacts. Pattern detection aids review efficiency.

Worker feedback loops

Incorporate reviewer feedback on model weaknesses into enhancement of data/algorithms. This supports continuous incremental fixes and also provides transparency for users around known issues models still struggle with.

Portable frameworks

Standardizing human assessment protocols, benchmarks, reporting methodology and metrics across the field will help efficiently embed and compare oversight practices enabling collective responsibility.

The table above summarizes complementary roles of human and automated assessment in guiding the responsible development of generative AI.

The road ahead for alignment and cooperation

For generative AI to gain broad acceptance, stakeholders across technology, media, government and education sectors need alignment and sustained cooperation around responsible development:

  • Inclusive development Engage: Public consultation and multi disciplinary researchers investigating societal impacts. Make oversight and redress accessible to more user groups.
  • Accountability around use: Companies deploying these models should report regularly and transparently on oversight protocols, risk analyses and mitigation measures with external validation. Making apparent how seriously firms take potential for harm can enable trust.
  • Collective benchmarks: Common quality bars, safety protocols, monitoring requirements set collaboratively across competing companies enable ‘rising tides’ lifting behavior across an industry rather than a ‘race to the bottom’.
  • Responsible investment priorities: Funders steering capital allocations can accelerate innovations improving attribution, verification and transparency alongside pure scale/efficiency gains. Balanced KPIs help shape responsible growth.

With foresight and collective diligence as these powerful technologies continue rapidly advancing, the exciting possibilities can be explored while safeguarding societal wellbeing through human centered oversight.

Conclusion

The staggering creative potential unlocked by advances in generative AI necessitate corresponding investments to steer these in positive directions benefitting humanity. As the pace of evolution outpaces laws and social conventions, proactive self assessment ensures progress aligns with ethics and priorities of our societies. By combining strengths of human wisdom and machine capabilities, we can build futures that uplift human dignity for all. Responsible innovation calls us to both high ambition and conscientious prudence.

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FAQs

What are the main benefits hoped for from advanced generative AI?

Main hopes around generative AI center on dramatically increased creativity and productivity achieving more in arts, media, code development etc. by intelligently augmenting human capabilities at scale. The promise is democratizing creation, reducing costs through automation, and discovering novel connections combining concepts in innovative ways.

Don’t generative models just amplify whatever data biases exist. How can oversight address this?

Yes, capable generative models do reflect biases and problems with training data. But human review in development loops lets us catch more of these baked in issues earlier and continue refining datasets and algorithms towards fairness. Oversight drives responsiveness.

Can AI itself take over assessing generative AI content as the scale increases?

In narrow expert domains like code quality, automated reviewers can match humans. But for societal impacts, human judgement is still needed going forward. AI can assist to flag potential issues for human review. But full automated oversight raises accountability concerns if harms emerge.

What expertise is required for robust human assessment of generative AI systems?

Doing this well needs a cross disciplinary team covering technical AI ethics, social science, language, law, creative domains using the models & security. Diversity of lenses helps surface edge cases. Ongoing inclusion of public representation voices factors in user contexts, concerns and expectations.

Which organization would be an ideal oversight body for regulating the generative AI ecosystem?

Rather than a new body, expansion of existing data/AI regulators’ ambits makes sense. Generative AI intersects with personal data, content moderation, media authenticity, platform accountability issues which groups like ICO, FTC, OfCom already cover. But more technical expertise and numeracy is crucial to assess AI impacts accurately for sound governance.

Sawood