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Association event professionals worried about AI

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Association event professionals worried about AI
A forthcoming white paper shows a high degree of concern about the ethics of using AI when organising association events.

The white paper is being created through a partnership between The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau in the Netherlands and Ottawa Tourism in Canada. The survey underpinning it considered responses from 91 association event professionals, mostly based in Europe and North America.

Lesley Pincombe, Ottawa Tourism’s vice president of meeting and major events, explained the reason for the white paper.

“We wanted to go beyond discussions about what AI can do, to consider how we should be integrating it into our organisations at a human level. 

“There is no denying AI can do incredible things. However, should we allow it; when should we apply the brakes, communicate better and focus on humanity rather than technology?”

The survey found 63 per cent of organisers were either slightly or very concerned about the ethical implications of using AI in event organising. One of the significant concerns revolves around the retention and usage of data by the technology companies which provide the AI services.

Twenty per cent of respondents believed that these technology providers were not very trustworthy, with a further 13 per cent saying they were not at all trustworthy. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents “mostly” trusted these providers.

The majority of association organisers in the survey – 63 per cent – said governments should regulate the use of AI in event organising, but an even higher proportion of respondents – 65 per cent – didn’t believe governments had enough knowledge of AI to bring about effective legislation.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents believed having an ISO or International Standard covering the use of AI in event organising could solve some of the ethical concerns about using artificial intelligence.

“AI is inevitable, and it is already impacting our lives in many ways,” said the head of The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau, Bas Schot.

“Those individuals and organisations thinking it is something that will not impact them clearly don’t realise just how ingrained it is in our world already. 

“It is all too easy to just think in terms of generative artificial intelligence, however AI is so much more and we need to harness the power of it in a way that is ethical and positive for everyone.”

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