AI Ethics Guidelines

Environmental Health Sciences is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to driving good science into public policy and public discussion. In service of that mission, we produce award-winning independent journalism through our newsroom for EHN, EHN en Español, and Daily Climate.

This policy aims to provide ethical guidelines for our staff regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence content (AI-content) to ensure that our original journalism, curated content summaries, company documents, and media assets are accurate, transparent, and accountable. The use of AI tools within our newsroom is not meant to replace our staff. We have developed these guidelines to assist our reporters, editors, and content curators on how to use it.

We define AI-generated and assisted content as follows, based on our intended usage:

AI-generated: Content in the form of article text, video scripts, or translations created by an AI-based tool. This includes AI-generated content after significant editing from our newsroom.

AI-assisted: Content created by our staff with the use of AI-based tools to edit, error-check, or enhance the original content. This includes AI-assisted content used to generate ideas and outlines.

To acknowledge the use of AI in our published content, we include this transparency statement in the article footer: AI-based tools helped produce this text, with human oversight and editing.

Content Publishing

Our newsroom publishes original journalism and summaries of curated top news stories and scientific reports. AI-based tools are used by our curation team to assist with producing our published summaries, which are identified on our site as Top News and Top Science. All of our published content is produced with human oversight and upholds our organization’s editorial standards and values, complying with legal and ethical considerations of fair use and copyright.

Transparency and Editorial Judgement

Our newsroom does not publish AI-generated content for our original journalism. Additionally, we do not publish AI-generated or assisted images, videos or audio. Following AI guidelines by The Associated Press, our staff is allowed to use AI-generated content for story and headline ideas, outlines, editing, and language translating, without acknowledgement; meaning our newsroom treats AI-gen content in this context as a research and story development tool. When our team uses AI to assist with summarizing news stories or reports authored by other media outlets, advocacy groups, or scientific sources, it has been reviewed by our staff for accuracy and will be credited to acknowledge the original publication and our AI usage.

Any content published or produced by our newsroom maintains AP editorial standards and values, complying with legal and ethical considerations of fair use when using AI-based tools.

Incorporating AI into our newsroom practices enables us to provide our readers with more comprehensive, data-driven, and timely insights. We remain steadfast in our commitment to journalistic integrity, editorial judgment, and transparency to our readers.

Safety and Accountability
Our newsroom’s primary use of AI will be to produce our curated content for Top News and Top Science. These summaries will range between 150-500 words. Our intent is to provide readers with a brief summary based on our expertise at Environmental Health Sciences.

We understand the potential risks of using AI-generated content as it pertains to public safety and security. Therefore, we aim to ensure our content does not contribute to misinformation. Our newsroom will take responsibility for any inaccuracies or errors discovered after publishing, and we will take the necessary corrective action to acknowledge errors.

As our organization embraces new technology, we will continue to remain invested in our employees and their career development. Our newsroom aims to stay informed about the latest developments in artificial intelligence and its evolving ethical implications to ensure that we maintain the highest standard of journalism for our diverse audiences.