Five Ways to Safely Use Generative AI Five Ways to Safely Use Generative AI
As we have seen since mid-2022, generative AI such as text-to-image art, and other AI-powered tools have entered the mainstream. With... Five Ways to Safely Use Generative AI

As we have seen since mid-2022, generative AI such as text-to-image art, and other AI-powered tools have entered the mainstream. With these tools becoming even more user-friendly, with each iteration and their popularity growing, it’s clear that generative AI is here to stay. From workers using chatbots as research assistants to creating art through image generators and more, here are a few ways that you can safely use generative AI and make the most of your AI experience. Whether you’re a developer or just a curious social media user, keep these tips in mind next time you log into your favorite app.

Copy/Paste is not the way to go

Trust us, we get it. It’s there, easy, and with a few simple clicks of a mouse, you can copy/paste a wealth of generated text on countless subjects. But here’s the thing. You’re only scratching the surface of what tools such as ChatGPT can do for you. Yes, you can get simple answers and go about your day, but where these tools shine is in their ability to act as your very own research assistant. 

This is one of the least talked about advantages of generative AI. You can normally get lost down the “Google” rabbit hole, hoping you get answers quickly. A tool such as ChatGPT can directly answer your question and act as a sounding board to help you develop ideas and research subjects, and go into a depth of detail you wouldn’t imagine. So next time you get the temptation to just copy and paste, take that AI tool to the next level and ask more from it. You won’t be sorry.

Create images without the use of stolen artwork

There is a great deal amount of talk about the ethics behind training certain image-generating AI tools using training data that uses images from artists without consent. This is why there is an entire sub-field called responsible AI! But regardless of where you might stand if you’re interested in avoiding those ethical issues here are a few ways to prevent yourself from using programs that are using stolen art to train their programs. 

First, make sure whatever program you decide to use, clearly tells you, or the information is easily accessible, where the training data comes from. Next, reviews. Just like any product you might find online, reviews are a treasure trove of information. And it’s likely that if the program does not use training data associated with stolen art, but lies. So someone will call them out on it. 

Make sure that the training data is unbiased and representative

There are a few ways you can accomplish this. First, do your best to avoid biased sources, such as data sources that have a known history of bias or discrimination. This is the hard part. Manually check the training data if applicable. Make sure to review a sample of the training data to ensure that it is representative and free of bias. For users not AI-savvy, this will have to come from reviewing documentation related to the program that classifies its data as unbiased and representative. For those working on the programs, you can evaluate the model’s performance. Give it a diverse set of test data to make sure that it doesn’t lean biased toward certain groups or even outcomes. Finally, re-evaluate the data regularly. Data doesn’t have to be treated as if it’s static. You’ll want to revisit the state to ensure that it remains representative and free from bias over time. 

Don’t Become a Victim of Outdated Data

While a lot of work goes into developing generative AI, there are still ways of ensuring that its training data is current. Some programs, such as ChatGPT, openly say the cutoff date for what it was trained on, giving you transparency for its answers. Other apps may not be as transparent, so if you use generative AI as a research tool, make sure you know when the data was last updated, otherwise, you may not be getting the best answers possible.

Understand Legal Implications

There’s been a lot of discourse lately around the use of generative AI, going beyond just the training data. People have been known to pass off AI-generated art as their own, even winning contests with it, which can pose a legal issue in some regards. You more than likely have nothing to worry about, but make sure where you use generative AI it’s allowed, be transparent about the use of generative AI, and make sure you’re using a program that has ethical training data.

Conclusion on how to safely use generative AI

Though not a definitive list, if you are one of the millions of users or developers within the exploding world of generative AI, being mindful of the above is a great start. AI isn’t going anywhere, instead, it’s clear that its scale and effects on society and industries are poised to shake many foundations.

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