AI is Everywhere. But an Industry White Paper Suggests Ethical Concerns.

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A new study looks at meeting planner concerns about AI . Ottawa Tourism and The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau have teamed up to study the implications of AI for association meetings.

A majority of global association meeting planners surveyed by The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau and Ottawa Tourism in October 2023 said they were concerned about the ethical implications of using AI in event organizing. The complete white paper, to be published on the Hague and Ottawa websites next month, includes responses from 91 association event professionals and 14 corporate event professionals, plus interviews and round table discussions with experts from the association and technology sectors.

“We wanted to go beyond discussions about what AI can do, to consider how we should be integrating it into our organizations at a human level,” said Lesley Pincombe, Ottawa Tourism’s vice president, meeting and major events. “There is no denying it can do incredible things. However, should we allow it; when should we apply the brakes, communicate better and focus on humanity rather than technology?”

Survey Highllights

• 63 percent of association respondents are either very concerned or slightly concerned about the ethical implications of using AI in event planning.

• 63 percent of respondents think governments should legislate the use of AI in event organizing.

• However, 65 percent of respondents think governments lack the required knowledge to be able to legislate effectively.

• 33 percent of respondents said they do not trust AI technology providers.

• 52 precent of respondents are in favor of an international standard (ISO) to cover the usage of AI in events.  A further 29 percent  said “maybe” such a standard should be created. Only 7 percent were not in favor of an ISO.

The full white paper will cover the growing usage of AI in more detail and explore particular areas of concern for the industry. “AI is inevitable, and it is already impacting our lives in many ways,” commented Bas Schot, head of The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau. “We need to harness the power of it in a way that is ethical and positive for everyone.”

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