Search Engine Land’s commitment to use generative AI responsibly


At the end of the summer, we published a generative AI use policy for our team and contributors to follow. Publicizing that we created a policy seemed unnecessary. There’s enough humble-bragging online. 

But since creating the policy, reputable publishers including Gannett (here and here) and Sports Illustrated were accused of using generative AI to create articles and publish them under phony bylines. Readers and the professional journalists working at those organizations felt betrayed. 

Given that, we agreed it was time to let you know where we stand on the use of generative AI and what you should expect from Search Engine Land. 

People are responsible  

It was inevitable that our team and expert contributors would use generative AI in creating their articles, images and other content. After all, what tool’s ever been invented that wasn’t used?

“People are responsible” is the defining principle of our generative AI use policy. Complying with copyright laws, checking facts, eliminating bias and, when feasible, crediting sources are just a few of the responsibilities our writers and contributors own.

Researching, brainstorming and copy editing are all acceptable use cases for generative AI. 

Our team and contributors are responsible for the accuracy, fairness, originality and quality of articles, presentations and content. 

They are also responsible for transparency. If AI creates it, our team and contributors are responsible for ensuring you know it. 

Acceptable/unacceptable uses of AI

Here are just a few generative AI use cases that are acceptable or unacceptable: 

  • Don’t use generative AI to write articles, computer code, or complete other tasks. Editorial and promotional copy, as well as our codebase, must be written by you while allowing for assistance (idea generation, optimization, grammar, snippets, etc.) from generative AI;
  • When working with proprietary data or assets, always turn on any privacy settings (ChatGPT for example). You are expressly prohibited from using any AI tool that does not offer privacy protection when using proprietary and/or client data sets;
  • When using image generation tools, do not use or publish images with any identifiable intellectual property or copyrighted materials. Examples include using the likeness of a celebrity or other corporate assets. Using logos as part of images is acceptable under certain circumstances (i.e., creating thumbnails or featured images for editorial purposes); and
  • Be mindful when deploying AI hiring tools. You are responsible for overseeing their actions.’

It’s certain that generative AI will continue evolving. We’ll update our policy to keep pace with the capabilities of the technology and introduce any changes to how our team and contributors apply generative AI in their work. In the meantime, you can read the policy here.   



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