Fun With AI: Ethical Responsibility

Not long ago I mentioned creating my own code of ethics for documentary filmmaking — a task I’m still thinking about. So that got me to thinking perhaps I should ask ChatGPT: What is the most important ethical responsibility for documentary filmmakers?


The most important ethical responsibility for documentary filmmakers is to accurately represent the truth and to present a fair and balanced portrayal of the subjects they are documenting. This includes being honest and transparent in the portrayal of events, people, and places, and avoiding any manipulative techniques that could misrepresent or distort reality.

Documentary filmmakers have a unique responsibility to their subjects and their audiences. They must respect the privacy and dignity of the people they are filming, obtaining informed consent whenever possible and avoiding any actions that could cause harm or exploitation. They also have a responsibility to present a fair and accurate portrayal of the events they are documenting, avoiding sensationalism or bias that could mislead viewers.

Finally, documentary filmmakers must adhere to professional standards of conduct and maintain the integrity of their work. This includes avoiding conflicts of interest, disclosing any potential biases or conflicts, and upholding the highest ethical standards of journalism and storytelling. By fulfilling these responsibilities, documentary filmmakers can help to promote transparency, accountability, and social justice, and contribute to a better understanding of the world around us.



Hmmmmm… I would have preferred something a bit more focused given the short, 3-paragraph answer. This reads like a befuddled student’s strategy to answer a test question: Throw up everything you think you know, and hope something sticks.

But nothing really does stick. It’s a series of assertions without argument or reasons, which means (big shocker!) there’s no thinking going on here. It’s clear to me that the “intelligence” in this AI tool is something less than that concept ought to mean.

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