The Ethics of Generative AI in Social-Scientific Research: A Qualitative Approach for Community-Based AI Ethics

21 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2024 Last revised: 28 Feb 2024

See all articles by June Jeon

June Jeon

Chungnam National University

Jaehyuk Park

KDI School of Public Policy and Management

Lanu Kim

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Date Written: December 29, 2023

Abstract

Despite growing attention to the ethics of generative AI, there has been little discussion about how
research ethics should be updated for the social sciences. This paper fills this gap at the intersection of AI ethics and social-science research ethics. Based on 17 semi-structured interviews, we present three narratives about generative AI and research ethics: 1) the equalizer narrative, 2) the meritocracy narrative, and 3) the community narrative. We argue that the ethics of AI-assisted social-scientific research cannot be reduced to universal checklists. Instead, the community-based approach is necessary to organize “ethics in practice.” In all narratives, unethical practices are identified in the contexts of the technical functions of generative AI and the institutional arrangements of academia. Our findings suggest that democratic deliberation about AI ethics within academic units, such as departments or conferences, is necessary. We end our paper with a discussion guideline for academic communities’ town-hall meetings, which will create opportunities for enhanced reflexivity among social scientists.

Keywords: Education/Learning, Workplaces, Empirical study that tells us about how people use a system, Interview

Suggested Citation

Jeon, June and Park, Jaehyuk and Kim, Lanu, The Ethics of Generative AI in Social-Scientific Research: A Qualitative Approach for Community-Based AI Ethics (December 29, 2023). KDI School of Pub Policy & Management Paper No. 23-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4703377 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4703377

June Jeon

Chungnam National University ( email )

Daejon, 34134
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jaehyuk Park (Contact Author)

KDI School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 184
Seoul, 130-868
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Lanu Kim

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) ( email )

373-1 Kusong-dong
Yuson-gu
Taejon 305-701, 130-722
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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