Canada-based Telus vowed not to use AI to create or copy Indigenous art as part of the operator’s ongoing commitment to the ethical use of technology.

The operator released its Reconciliation Commitment in 2021, which states it is committed to developing productive relationships with Indigenous Peoples including First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.

Bloomberg reported AI-generated content that copies Indigenous art created controversy in Australia, with artists complaining work was being used without permission to create items being sold online.

The news agency reported the foreign affairs ministry in Canada apologised in December for publishing an AI-generated picture to represent an Indigenous woman.

Pam Snively, chief data and trust officer at Telus, said “a fundamental aspect of our AI and data ethics efforts is listening and learning from those impacted by and interacting with technology”.

“We are dedicated to working side by side with Indigenous Peoples to preserve their rich cultural legacy and creative endeavours and hope this inspires other organisations to follow suit.”

The operator’s work in AI includes training a recommendation engine with classification of more than 500 images for a client, according to its website. Telus International is also developing an enterprise-grade AI engine for customers.