First #FactsFirstPH roadshow spotlights community-driven ethical AI, digital media use

Jezreel Ines

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First #FactsFirstPH roadshow spotlights community-driven ethical AI, digital media use

Around 300 students, media professionals, government agency representatives, and members of the academic community joined to participate in Iloilo City leg of #FactsFirstPH

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The #FactsFirstPH roadshow in Iloilo City shines a spotlight on the power of community collaboration in promoting ethical AI practices and responsible digital media usage

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Promoting ethical utilization of digital media and artificial intelligence (AI) through enhanced community collaboration took center stage at the inaugural #FactsFirstPH roadshow held at the University of the Philippines Visayas Iloilo City campus on Friday, October 6.

In a panel discussion on the first day of the #FactsFirstPH roadshow, UP Visayas professor Katherine Valencia emphasized the importance of having clear guidelines on the use of AI in academic institutions. 

“Having a clear and more comprehensive guideline regarding the usage of AI in academic institutions is important to ensure that it serves as a tool to assist rather than to replace. This is so that students can better understand its role,” Valencia said.

Valencia said that the adoption of AI is now an unavoidable reality, and its implementation should be aimed at providing advantages to students.

“It can be an alternative, but it cannot replace what we truly think as individuals. Our creativity diminishes, and our uniqueness in terms of creating outputs fades if we rely on AI,” she said.

Ted Aldwin Ong of the Iloilo Media People’s Council said that local media should have ethical guidelines for the use of AI in the local context.

“The landscape and the practice are evolving and so our guidelines…. A lot of Western tools available are not applicable, especially guidelines, are not that really useful [for us],” he said.

As the vice chairperson of the local media council, Ong explained that the council’s mandate is to self-regulate the media to prevent any potential issues and promote responsible journalism.

Citing this as an example, lawyer May Rago-Castillo, DSWD information officer, highlighted the vital role of digital media in building information-sharing communities.

“Digital media is very important because it has contributed to the implementation of our programs and projects. Before, it was difficult to disseminate information, now it is very easy,” she said.

Rago-Castillo, however, noted thr need for regulation for digital media content creators to ensure that the privacy and security of people online will not be compromised.

“Many digital creators produce their own content, sometimes compromising the confidentiality and identification of child abuse victims. We have seen many posts on social media wherein the identity of children is exposed,” she said.

UP College of Law professor John Molo stressed that legislation will have to keep up and adapt to advances in technology, and individuals should exercise caution when employing technology in everyday usage.

“The law will consistently lag behind technological advancements. Therefore, the primary focus of #FactsFirstPH is to empower communities with the skills to discern information and become responsible users of technology,” he said.

Rappler lead researcher on disinformation and platforms Gemma Mendoza stressed that in the struggle to uncover the truth and stimulate discussions on various topics, journalists and news organizations require the backing and involvement of local communities.

“We will have the backing of the community; that’s what #FactsFirstPH is trying to do. As you have seen, Rappler, for instance, has always said that we wouldn’t have survived all the attacks if it weren’t for the communities who supported us through that difficult time,” she shared.

The #FactsFirstPH event in Iloilo City marked the first stop of the MovePH roadshow series this year, which aims to actively involve local communities to amplify the importance of factual information on digital platforms.

Around 300 students, media professionals, government agency representatives, and members of the academic community joined to participate in the initiative to create active communities dedicated to championing the truth. – Rappler.com

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Jezreel Ines

Jezreel is a researcher-writer at Rappler mainly focused on governance and social issues.