Whether you’re living on top of a Nepalese mountain, or nestled next to the golden sands of Byron Bay, everyone’s a citizen of the global village. Today’s digital environment doesn’t care for geography; it’s a wonderful worldwide community that involves us all. 

But like any family, there are ups and downs. And sometimes, even scandals. Although the acceleration of content consumption is a great thing for businesses and social media wizards, it’s important to be aware of cultural nuances. The diversification of audience engagement calls for cultural sensitivity, and businesses must answer by infusing greater awareness in their creative strategies. 

So, where does AI fit into all of this?

While artificial intelligence can be a great tool for creativity, it has a long way to go in terms of picking up on subtleties. It can’t be socially apt like us. It is a computer, after all. 

Therefore, the process of human editing is still an essential component of the creative process, as it ensures that every reader feels acknowledged and valued.

The Challenges of AI

Artificial intelligence is a hallmark of today’s technological advancements. The fact that a computer can write a blog or an article in seconds is nothing short of amazing. 

But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows—in fact, the computerised cracks in AI have really started to show. 

Limitations in Understanding Cultural Subtleties

Despite its beyond-human capabilities, AI does have its downfalls. It struggles to comprehend human emotions, viewpoints, and cultural circumstances.

AI-generated content may unintentionally reinforce prejudices, fail to take into account significant cultural factors, or misread cultural symbols. This can result in false representations that may insult or alienate readers.

Examples of Inadvertent Stereotyping

Popular AI image generator, Stable Diffusion, has recently recieved Internet-wide backlash for its lack of human comprehension.

A study from The University of Washington discovered that Stable Diffusion perpetuates unfair stereotypes of Indigenous peoples when asked to draw pictures of “a person from Oceania.” 

The generator also has a tendency to sexualize pictures of women from Mexico, India, Egypt, and a few Latin American nations such as Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Consequences for Reputation and Engagement

Culturally insensitive content can have a significant and long-lasting impact on a brand’s standing and audience engagement. The rise of “cancel culture” has seen the boycotting of many businesses due to their insensitive content. 

Therefore, ignoring cultural context can have serious consequences in today’s globalised industry, when information travels quickly across digital platforms.

Potential Pitfalls of AI Content

Overlooking cultural sensitivity may be an honest mistake, blissful ignorance is not an acceptable defence. When producing material, organisations must carry out meticulous editorial tasks. 

Misuse of Gestures and Icons

Despite their sophistication, AI systems function on algorithms and data sets that do not recognise human culture, or the subtle meanings of gestures, images, or symbols. Incorrect use of context, iconography, or other cultural emblems can lead to unintended offense or misrepresentation. 

Examples of Symbol Misinterpretation

Examples of symbol misinterpretation aren’t widely publicised due to sensitivity and the quick action typically taken by companies to rectify such errors. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Here are a few examples of how a business may fall short, given the limitations of AI. 

  • Misuse of Religious Symbols: A religious symbol may be inadvertently used by an AI system to create holiday greeting cards.
  • Inappropriate Cultural Mashups: AI-produced content for a multicultural celebration may inappropriately combine symbols from different cultures.
  • Stereotypical Representation in Marketing: When producing content targeted towards particular demographics, AI-driven marketing may use out-of-date or insulting stereotypes.

Insensitive Language Generation on Biased Model Outputs

The quality of AI depends on the data it’s fed. Even with the recent advancements in AI technology, there are still very few datasets available. This may result in the creation of insensitive material, especially if biased data is used for training. 

Failure to Consider Cultural Context

When tasked with producing content for a mass audience, AI’s inability to consider cultural context could cause big problems. AI’s lack of nuanced communication has the potential to lead to tone-deaf or culturally inappropriate messaging. 

Google’s AI bot Gemini has recently received a huge amount of criticism. Users across major social media platforms shared examples of Gemini not showing white people, even in historical contexts where they were likely to dominate depictions. Examples of this included requests for images of the Founding Fathers or a German soldier from 1943. 

Google has also opened itself up to yet another scandal. Over the years, the tech giant has come under fire for returning images of black people when users searched for “gorillas” in its Photos app. 

It has also been involved in a very public dispute over whether it was right to remove the leaders of its ethical AI team.

“Gemini’s AI image generation does generate a wide range of people. And that’s generally a good thing because people around the world use it. But it’s missing the mark here,” Jack Krawczyk, Senior Director for Gemini Experiences, said in late February. 

The Role of Human Editors

Human insight still reigns in a world where content is king. While AI is a fantastic tool for grammatical and contextual accuracy, it lacks the awareness that we have. 

Ensuring Appropriateness

Our robot colleagues may try, but AI cannot compare to the cognitive power of the human mind. Writers and editors remain a crucial part of the creative process to ensure AI-generated content is culturally mindful. 

Incorporating Empathy and Understanding

Empathy, compassion, and understanding are what make us, us. Human emotions are something that can’t be replicated. Therefore, editors need to show the content creation process a little tenderness. This will ensure that the final output is respectful and inclusive. 

Nuanced Content Refinement

AI is not an all-seeing eye—there are things it may overlook. A human editor’s job is to uncover the intricacies in communications to fill in the gaps and ensure that cultural references are conveyed in the right context. 

Localization Expertise

Are you using AI to produce content in a different language? Or maybe you’re writing about a country that you’ve never visited? 

Employing a writer with expertise in this area will guarantee that your writing is appropriately displayed to readers and that it is adjusted for local cultural and language circumstances.  

Mitigating Bias

Fault training leads to biased data. This is where human insight plays a pivotal role. Human monitoring will mitigate this by lessening the effects of imperfect training data. 

Enhancing Through Collaboration

You know what they say, “Teamwork makes the dream work”. That couldn’t be more true when it comes to the collaborative nature of human-AI content creation! 

Now more than ever, it’s essential for brands to enhance cultural sensitivity and ensure all their communications incorporate diversity. Human writers and AI systems can work hand-in-hand to lend different perspectives, and produce content that accounts for all demographics.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re doom-scrolling on Instagram, or knees-deep in a Youtube rabbit hole, you want to consume content that resonates with you. Therefore, it’s crucial that brand’s foster meaningful connections with their audience by producing material that speaks to everyone. 

To achieve this, businesses need to acknowledge the limitations of AI. Only human insight can celebrate cultural diversity, and navigate complex cultural landscapes to avoid insensitivity. It shouldn’t be a case of one or the other; businesses should strike a balance between human and AI content generation, as both bring many benefits. 

But this isn’t news to us here at AI Reviver! 

We’ve been bridging the gap between human editing and AI-generated content for a couple of years. Our team of experienced SEO writers will inject some soul into your content, so you can stay true to your brand voice, and rank higher on search engines! 

Got AI Generated Content?

We’ll take it from here!

Visit our website today to upload your AI content, and watch our writers perform their magic! There, you can also contact us for a personalised quote, read our FAQs, and check out our blog. 

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