Listener's Bill of Rights Proposed

Pledge seeks transparency in use of AI audio

4 min read
Listener's Bill of Rights Proposed

Domo Arigato, podcast listeners.

As artificial intelligence continues to make inroads in technical capabilities for audio, some are questioning whether listeners deserve a clearer picture of real versus robot.

Business podcasters Masters of Scale have had plenty of AI-centered discussions, and they've set out a template Listener's Bill of Rights. The full proposal is below, and Masters of Scale is asking content creators to sign a pledge to abide by the proposal as an industry standard.

The Listener’s Bill of Rights in the Age of AI 

A proposed industry guide for AI in audio 

As podcast creators and producers, we’re optimistic about the introduction of new audio production tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This software improves workflows, cuts down on hours spent editing tape, and opens up new avenues for creativity. However, podcasting is a medium where you can’t see the speaker and we are therefore responsible for disclosing when and how AI is used to alter and edit speech.

Given that there are currently no industry-wide standards for using AI in audio, it is our goal to establish those standards and create an ecosystem in which the public is well-protected. These guidelines will naturally change over time as technology and consumers evolve. But starting this conversation ourselves is the best way to create a dialogue, promote transparency, and avert pre-emptive government regulation that may stifle future innovation.

With that in mind, we propose these listener’s rights:

An adequate definition of disclosure may differ between creators and companies, and the diversity of styles and formats within podcasting will likely impact how people choose to communicate with their audiences. But for the purposes of this document, here are some examples of useful disclosure language:

Finally, we the undersigned commit to not using AI-powered tools to do any of the following:

AI tools can be incredibly useful. The people designing these tools can and should take measures to protect against malicious actors, but ultimately it’s up to us, the creators who use the tools, to establish our own set of ethical standards.

Postscript: No AI was used in the writing of this Listener’s Bill of Rights.

Notably, these aren't hard-and-fast rules, but leave certain areas open to interpretation. The included postscript note assures readers that there was, in fact, no AI participation in the writing of the proposal.

It's an interesting approach to standards. Sign up and leave a comment if you have any thoughts on the AI revolution. Here's the soundtrack, courtesy of Styx.

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