PRESS RELEASE: Report: Generative AI Potential Benefits are Overshadowed by Actual Harms

May 15, 2024

EPIC finds GAI’s damaging impacts are spreading to elections, privacy, data quality, and content licensing.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) released Generating Harms II: Generative AI’s New & Continued Impacts, a follow-up report that expands on the harms detailed in last year’s Generating Harms report. The new report includes a deep dive into four new issue areas and explores the different remedies and enforcement actions that are being considered by policymakers.

Despite the constant attention in the past year and several proposals to address these harms, generative AI companies have not meaningfully contended with the real-life damage they are doing to individuals and society. Most discussions of generative AI focus on the technology’s outsized theoretical potential. Where harms are addressed, they are often hypothetical future harms that evoke science fiction. Unfortunately, harms stemming from GAI are not theoretical—they are widespread and happening right now.

“The rapid spread of generative AI has created an explosion of disinformation, invasions of privacy, scams, and more,” said Calli Schroeder, lead of EPIC’s AI and Human Rights project. “This report details where those harms are expanding and identifies interventions necessary to rein in these systems. Ultimately, if generative AI cannot be deployed safely, then it should not be deployed at all.”

The report details the scope of four new issue areas where generative AI is causing harms:

  • Elections
  • Privacy
  • Data Degradation
  • Content Licensing

It also includes a new section analyzing current state, federal, and international efforts to address generative AI harms through enforcement, regulation, and technical or private-sector remedies.

“Generative AI is an industry full of very intelligent and creative people—and they are creative and intelligent enough to make their product function without eroding basic rights,” says Schroeder.

About EPIC
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) was established in 1994 to protect privacy, freedom of expression, and democratic values in the information age. Our mission is to secure the fundamental right to privacy in the digital age for all people through advocacy, research, and litigation. EPIC’s AI and Human Rights Project advocates for transparent, equitable, and accountable AI regulations. Our previous report on generative AI harms is available here.


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