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tiktok, artificial intelligence, aiIn a groundbreaking revelation, a joint white paper by The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau and Ottawa Tourism has uncovered a significant global apprehension towards the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) in event organizing. As the world leans increasingly towards digital solutions, this study serves as a critical checkpoint for the event industry.

The study, set to be released next month, indicates that a substantial 63% of global association buyers harbour concerns – ranging from slight to severe – about the ethical dimensions of AI deployment in events. This statistic underscores a growing unease in an industry rapidly evolving through technology.

Moreover, the white paper dives into the complexities of government intervention in AI usage. While a similar percentage (63%) of respondents advocate for governmental legislation of AI in events, a striking 65% doubt the government’s capacity to legislate effectively in this dynamic tech landscape. This paradox highlights a crucial gap between the desire for oversight and confidence in its execution.

A critical issue that emerges is the trustworthiness of AI technology providers. With 20% of respondents dubbing these providers as not very trustworthy and an additional 13% as not trustworthy at all, there is a clear distrust overshadowing the 27% who mostly trust these entities. This scepticism is pivotal, as it challenges the integrity of data management and privacy practices in the AI-driven event industry.

In response to these concerns, 52% of respondents backed the creation of an International Standard (ISO) to regulate AI use in events, with another 29% considering it a possibility. Only a mere 7% oppose this idea, indicating a strong consensus for standardized ethical guidelines.

Bas Schot, Head of The Hague & Partners Convention Bureau, emphasizes the ubiquity of AI. “AI is inevitable and already interwoven in our lives,” he says. “It’s crucial we harness its power ethically for universal benefit, beyond just generative AI.”

Echoing this sentiment, Lesley Pincombe, Vice President of Ottawa Tourism, stresses the need for a human-centric approach to AI integration. “It’s not just about what AI can do, but how we incorporate it at a human level,” she remarks. “When should we apply brakes and prioritize humanity over technology?”

The white paper, enriched by expert interviews and roundtable discussions from the association and AI sectors, promises to delve deeper into these concerns. It aims to explore the industry’s readiness to adapt to AI’s escalating role.

In the corporate sphere, 50% of event organizer respondents express ethical concerns about AI, with a striking 71% advocating for and simultaneously doubting government legislation. Interestingly, 28% question the trustworthiness of technology providers, yet 50% trust them, reflecting a more divided stance compared to the global associations.

This study not only sheds light on the ethical conundrums facing the event industry in the age of AI but also acts as a catalyst for a broader conversation on technology, trust, and legislation. As AI continues to reshape industries, the need for an ethical, human-centric approach becomes increasingly imperative. The full white paper, anticipated eagerly by the industry, is expected to offer valuable insights and potentially chart a course for a more ethically aligned future in event organizing.




Written by: Michelle Warner