Market research: Ethical uses of generative text AI

It’s nearly a year since ChatGPT burst onto the scene. What was first viewed as a fun tool play around with quickly established itself as a major piece of technology. In fact, Collins Dictionary named AI its “word of the year” for 2023.

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT certainly have their uses, but there have also been plenty of cases of misuse. One such example was a lawyer who used ChatGPT for case research, unaware that it could provide incorrect information. Which is exactly what it did by referencing cases that did not exist.

Magenta research project and the ethics of generative AI

Another big talking point has been about the ethics of such tools. Companies including OpenAI and Google have been discussing frameworks, while Governments have been scrambling to create legislation.

We’re looking to dig deeper into the use of generative AI in the PR and comms field through a collaborative research project with the University of Sussex. As part of this project, business incubation and development network Sussex Innovation has produced a bespoke market research report on the ‘Ethical uses of generative text AI in advertising, PR, communications, and marketing sectors’.

The report provides some useful background context as why AI matters to marketing and PR industries across a number of UK sectors, and identifies some key broader concerns that impact business and agencies grappling with the emergence of new AI tools.

Sussex Innovation market research

Key insights from the research included:

  • The topic of ethics has been prominent but initiatives must meet the needs of developing AI systems.
  • The UK, USA and EU are among the leaders in developing ethical frameworks.
  • The PR and communications industries have seen huge benefits but also face many risks.
  • Business leaders need to dedicate resources to creating ethical frameworks, and educating and training their employees.

Our project includes a survey and optional interview, and aims to delve deeper into the impact of ChatGPT by asking essential questions, such as:

  • How are content writers currently integrating ChatGPT into their workflows?
  • How are employers of content writers addressing the challenges posed by ChatGPT?
  • What changes might we expect in terms of industry practices, codes of conduct, and company policies?
  • How can AI researchers effectively contribute to shaping ethical and socially responsible uses of generative text tools in the communication industry?

The survey is live now:

Generative Text AI and the Communications Industry: Realities vs the Hype

You can read more about our ChatGPT research project on our blog.

ChatGPT and the communications industry

There’s no doubt that generative AI tools are here to stay. What matters is how we use them in an ethical and sustainable way.

We’ll be staying up to date with all the latest news around generative AI tools, so check back on our blog and LinkedIn page for regular updates.

If you’d like to know more about our research project, email me on

Greg Bortkiewicz