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Mahlab position statement on the use of generative AI

Since 1997, Mahlab has always embraced new technologies and the positive impact on our industry that they present. Now, with the rapid advance of artificial intelligence and generative AI, we are witnessing the beginning of a seismic shift in how we work.

As this technology develops, Mahlab is dedicated to experimenting and understanding how we can use these tools to improve how we operate, as well as guiding our clients on how to do the same.

Use cases we are actively exploring include:

  • Boosting productivity by automating routine tasks. Automating or optimising low-level or mundane internal tasks (such as transcripts of interviews and meeting notes) gives our people more time and more headspace to think big and add value to our clients.

  • Fostering greater creativity in our client work. Creativity is at the heart of our business and AI has handed our creatives an incredibly powerful and ever-growing suite of new tools. These tools – from image to words to audio to code – allow us to brainstorm, experiment, iterate and create in new ways.

  • Making better data-driven decisions. AI’s ability to scan vast reams of data means it is becoming an irreplaceable tool in helping us unearth new insights and unpick unseen patterns. While security concerns mean we so far limit this approach to public data, this will change and private models become more readily available.

Though excited to be leveraging AI’s potential, we remain vigilant about its inherent biases, its unquantified security risks and ethical concerns around the datasets used in training many of the current offerings.

In keeping with our Code of Conduct, B Corp certification and membership with the Content Authenticity Initiative, we are committed to operating ethically, securely and transparently.

As of today, our basic guidelines for AI use at Mahlab include:

  • Never sharing confidential, private or rights-controlled data with any AI model that may use that data for training

  • Clearly disclosing any work created in significant part with AI

  • Always verifying that any content or insights produced with AI has not hallucinated facts or plagiarised other material

  • Respecting the rights of artists by never using AI to recreate the style or approach of an existing artist

  • Watching closely the emerging ethical and legal arguments around the use of AI, and continually reevaluating our approach to ensure it is best practice

  • Holding all of our suppliers and partners to these same standards.

When it comes to how AI will shape our work, we see not threat but opportunity.  While we expect AI to make each of our people more effective and more creative, these people remain essential – for knowing what questions to ask, for knowing what excellence looks like.

Mahlab’s most valuable offerings have always been ideas and expertise. We strongly believe AI will augment this, not automate it.

Last updated: 6 February 2024