Chief Executive Officer, ID Africa, Femi Falodun has called on public relations professionals to study new trends and critically interrogate how emerging technologies like AI, cryptocurrencies, web3, metaverse and others can enhance or mar the human experience.
In a contribution to the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Ethics Council’s 2022 Annual Perspective report, Falodun stated that PR practitioners who work in and around the web3 ecosystem must pay close attention to ethical issues in web3, in order to properly guide their stakeholders.
The PRCA Ethics Council’s 2022 Annual Perspective report, which is published annually by the world’s largest professional PR body, features insights from 30 global leaders, and explores the ethical challenges when engaging in the Metaverse, NFTs, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and other new technology.
According to Falodun, as long as PR practitioners stay adequately informed on the tech, and remain people-centric, they will emerge as trusted partners for governments, web3 builders and society of users, helping them to find and communicate the best ways that these technologies can enrich the human experience.
He added that many of the concerns about web3-related technologies are the ambiguity about what is right or wrong.
“A key concern with web3 is sustainability. According to Digiconomist, Bitcoin mining generates up to 96 million tons of CO2 emissions yearly, while Ethereum mining produces 47 million tons. The Bitcoin network also produces 30,000 tons of electronic waste per year. Although proponents are introducing new methods that are less energy-intensive, it is expected that crypto’s carbon footprint will continue to increase as adoption grows.
“The biggest ethical concerns with AI include racial bias from robots, inequality in the distribution of wealth created by robots, cybersecurity risks, robot rights, unemployment due to loss of jobs to machines, and the Singularity, fear that someday, humanity will lose control to complex intelligent systems,” Falodun stated.
He pointed out that through its understanding of emerging technologies, industry and consumer trends, ID Africa helps provide strategic advisory and communications services to brands and organisations in Africa looking to connect better with their stakeholders. ID Africa is a part of the BlackHouse Media (BHM) family, where Falodun is also a Director.
Speaking on the report, Co-Chair, PRCA Global Ethics Council, Mary Beth West urged the whole of the PR industry – in every level of experience and practice – to embrace new areas of learning, awareness, and strategic consideration tied to the ethics of AI and how digital technology might be engaged in ways that potentially risk stakeholder trust and brand reputation.
“This year’s PRCA Ethics Council Annual Perspective provides PR professionals with the tools to push their clients to be ethical and use every touch point as an opportunity to tell human stories that truly make an impact and build a deeper connection with the people the industry serves,” PRCA Global Ethics Council Co-Chair Nitin Mantri added.