To Met or not to Met: AI and the red carpet

Our Head of Media for Hiscox UK, Max Tipper, discusses the challenges Artificial Intelligence poses following one of the world’s foremost couture red carpet events.

The 2024 Met Gala may have had the theme of ‘Garden of Time,’ but beyond the glitz and glamour it was the thorny issue of AI on the red carpet that caused a media storm. Computer-generated images of Katy Perry and Rihanna, neither of whom attended the event, were shared around the world.

AI is an incredible tool, bringing with it new and exciting ways of creating and delivering content. But many of the risks are still very familiar – from unlicensed image use and copyright infringement to potential defamation and breach of privacy. This means doubling down with clients on what good risk management looks like in a changing environment. That includes properly disclosing the use of AI in content generation; making sure human verification is involved for all content; having a clear AI policy and educating staff on the risks from AI content and the privacy implications; as well as having a diligent approach to AI platform selection.

There are still big questions to be addressed at a national and international level around AI regulation, access and ethics – not only in the USA, but around the world. At the same time, given the pace of evolution in the AI space, the hallmarks of AI will become harder to spot over time. But for those using AI in the meantime, especially in a professional capacity, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Disclose, disclose, disclose 
    Unless AI is used in a transparent fashion where it's very clear and upfront that this isn't a real image then it can undermine trust in the technology being used to generate it… and in the content creators.
  • No such thing as perfect
    AI technology has come on leaps and bounds but we’ve seen faux pas from misinformation to missing limbs. If you’re a business or creator using this technology, you need to be comfortable that it’s not going to be perfect. 
  • Consent is key 
    Just because it’s AI generated doesn’t mean you don’t need consent to use it. Don’t neglect to obtain all necessary approvals prior to use.
  • Understand the risks
    In the same way as other communications, anyone using AI is potentially at risk of claims of defamation, intellectual property or privacy breaches – whether that’s as a result of regurgitating content from other sources or whether it relates to an AI hallucination. Understanding your risks is key to mitigating them.

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence will be as transformative for fashion as it will for every other industry. But while we collectively explore its opportunities and understand its limitations, the ability to tell the real from the artificial is going to be key... on the red carpet and beyond.