February 25, 2024

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Indonesia’s Framework for AI Ethics in Media

The presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology brings significant implications for the media world, with impacts that can be felt globally. The rapid advancements in this field have created various challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed by the media and journalistic industries.

Image credits: kominfo.go.id

One of the significant impacts of AI technology in the media world is the increasing number of copyright violations caused by using AI-based applications. While AI can provide efficiency and innovation in content production and distribution processes, its unmonitored use can lead to copyright infringements. Some cases involve unauthorised automatic reproduction, usage of content without proper credit, and information manipulation with unsupervised algorithms.

Furthermore, the role of AI in generating news content raises concerns about the quality and accuracy of information. News content creation algorithms can unintentionally disseminate false or biased information, posing a threat to the integrity of journalism and public trust in the media.

In light of this, the Director General of Public Information and Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Usman Kansong, emphasised the need for comprehensive binding regulations to avoid harming national mass media. He envisions regulations similar to those in the European Union, which comprehensively govern AI regarding copyright, pornography, deep fakes, and other aspects akin to an Omnibus Law for AI.

According to the Director General, comprehensive regulations would protect local media from the dominance of global technology giants concerning copyright ownership. Many AI-based applications monetise content obtained for free from mass media, affecting copyright enforcement, including moral and economic rights.

“In the media and science world, we quote and mention a source; then we cannot demand it. This problem also occurs on digital platforms about the media,” he explained.

In anticipation of copyright issues, the government is working on finalising publisher rights regulations. However, according to Director General Usman, several aspects still require collective attention.

It is not sure because digital platforms do use AI. However, AI companies may only sometimes want to be called digital platforms. That is why I agree with friends who say comprehensive regulations are needed,” he stated.

In response to these dynamics, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics has made a significant breakthrough by issuing Ministerial Circular 9 of 2023 regarding the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. This decision reflects the government’s commitment to addressing existing challenges and providing clear guidance for the responsible use of artificial intelligence.

The Circular is not merely a formal document but an instrument outlining three central policies:

  1. The importance of ethical values in the context of artificial intelligence.
  2. Implementing these ethical values, including how companies or organisations can apply them daily.
  3. The responsibilities to be undertaken in utilising and developing artificial intelligence.

This initiative signifies a positive step in creating an environment that can control AI’s ethical and responsible use. With these guidelines, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics aims to provide clear direction to companies or organisations involved in the artificial intelligence ecosystem, aligning to promote innovation while ensuring that the negative impacts of this technology are minimised.

“The most important principle is accountability and human-centred, meaning centred on humans because there are concerns that AI will kill human civilisation,” Director General Usman said.

Director General Usman stated that more than Circular’s presence needs to be improved and needed to regulate the rapidly evolving use of AI technology.

“The Circular is an ethical guide, non-coercive, without penalties, and voluntary. It is only a soft regulation and not the rule of law,” he explained. Therefore, the Director General of Public Information and Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics invited the national press community to provide input in formulating more comprehensive regulations.

“I invite the press community to advocate for the presence of more comprehensive regulations. Through discussions like these, recommendations can be generated and submitted to the Minister of Communication and Informatics as the leading sector in the digital field,” he concluded. By bringing collaboration among multiple entities, the goal is to foster a regulatory framework that can effectively navigate the intricate challenges posed by AI in the media sector.


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