CCS’S Stance & Policy on Using Generative AI
CCS’s Stance on AI-Generated Content
At CCS, we believe branding and marketing content must be created by humans because it’s created for humans.
We’re also well aware that AI technology is here to stay. To that end, we see AI technology as a tool to use to augment human creation, not to replace it.
We also believe that too many variables are at play when it comes to using generative AI, making AI tools something we cannot rely on. Here are our biggest concerns at this moment.
- Ownership & intellectual property rights: Under current US law, to gain copyright or trademark rights, you must show that a human created the intellectual property in question. This means you don’t own anything you create using AI content generators. Sure, you provided the prompt, but you did not create the result. Therefore, you cannot protect it and others can freely use what you publish. Limited exceptions to the human-only authorship requirement exist now, but they require a great deal of information to prove.
- Context & tone: AI struggles to understand nuances in context and tone, leading to awkward or ineffective content. If our goal is to create connections with our readers, this is not the way to create that content.
- Accuracy & reliability: AI makes up results. It cannot perform logic; instead, it simply answers based on what is most likely the next right word in a sequence. And it pulls information from the web, which isn’t always accurate in the first place. Fact-checking AI is a time-consuming task that can be better spent elsewhere.
- Bias & cultural sensitivity: AI is trained on already existing data, which skews toward biases against and is discriminatory toward non-dominant groups. Additionally, AI may not be able to account for cultural differences, leading to inaccurate, inappropriate or insensitive content.
- Emotional intelligence: Connecting on a human level in a way that resonates emotionally is something AI cannot deliver currently.
How CCS Will Use AI Content Generators
All content created for our clients will be human-generated only. We will not use AI content generators (e.g., ChatGPT, Bard, Jasper, Writer, etc.) to create any web content, blog posts, emails, white papers or any other branding or marketing content. All content we charge for and deliver will be unique, human-authored content that our clients can copyright.
All content we create will be edited by a human. We’ve been using tools like Microsoft’s Spellcheck, Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, and others to edit and proof our work for years. That said, all of the work we produce for our clients gets a human editor’s eye before we deliver it.
We may publish AI-generated content for our own purposes. If we do this, it will be to showcase the realities, possibilities and limitations of AI-generated content only. And, if we use AI content tools, we will disclose what we used and how we used it. Transparency matters to us in all we do; this situation is no different.
We may use AI content generators for pre- and post-writing exercises. This means we may turn to these tools for brainstorming, outlining, riffing on a headline, researching (followed by painstaking fact-checking), or any other step that would help us be more efficient or break free from writer’s block. We may also use it to help us identify how we can repurpose content for other platforms or content types. In this way, we’ll learn the tools and remain up-to-date on developments involving AI content generation.
How CCS Will Use AI Image Generators
All images we provide to our clients will come from paid stock photography services. We will not use AI image generators (e.g., MidJourney, Dall-E, Stable Diffusion) to fulfill any graphic design services we may provide. Any graphic design services we charge for will be created by our team or pulled from paid services that compensate their artists.
We will not use AI image generators for our own purposes. We will either use custom or stock photography for any images we use in our marketing materials. Again, we believe in paying artists for their work whenever possible. Wired says it best, “At least until generative AI companies develop a way to compensate the creators their tools rely on, we won’t use their images this way.”
We may play with AI image generators for graphic design inspiration. Again, the best way to understand available tools is to use them. We may turn to AI image generators to help beat designer’s block, but we will never rely on them to create images or other designs for our clients or ourselves.
Who This Policy Applies To
This AI policy applies to all CCS employees, contractors, and partners who use or interact with AI systems. This includes but isn’t limited to all large language models (LLMs), plugins and data-enabled AI tools.
We will use AI content detectors and plagiarism tools to ensure compliance with our policy. Any policy violation will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, contractor status or partner status.
This AI Policy May Change
AI technology is advancing rapidly, as are the laws and regulations surrounding it. We will continue to stay abreast of developments and may adjust our policy to ensure we’re serving our clients best.
CCS created this policy on July 14, 2023. H/T to Wired’s Generative AI Policy and AI Guardian’s AI Policy Template, both of which helped inform our approach to this policy and some of the content herein.