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Livvy Dunne’s endorsement of AI product sparks debate on ethics in NIL

Olivia Dunne
Photo credit: LSU Athletics

LSU gymnast Livvy Dunne’s endorsement of an artificial intelligence product on her social media platforms as part of a NIL deal, has sparked debate about whether college athletic programs should provide clearer guidance regarding ethical standards when athletes earn money from NIL contracts.

LSU released a written statement cautioning students to be careful when using technology, and reminding them that there can be consequences for misuse.

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“Technology, including AI, can foster learning and creativity. At LSU, our professors and students are empowered to use technology for learning and pursuing the highest standards of academic integrity,” the LSU statement read. “However, using AI to produce work that a student then represents as one’s own could result in a charge of academic misconduct.”

The endorsement of a Caktus.AI product appeared in the form of a 10-second video posted to TikTok and YouTube. Dunne’s reach on social media likely surpasses that of any other NCAA athlete, with around 7 million followers on TikTok and more than 3 million followers on Instagram.

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“It does seem problematic to have people sort of promoting plagiarism,” John Basl, a philosophy professor at Northeastern University in Boston who specializes in AI and data ethics, said to AP News.

“It’s almost like if a student said, ‘I get drunk and get home using my Tesla’s autopilot,’ or something like that,” Basl continued. “So, it would be appropriate for LSU to say it would not approve of its athletes endorsing the unethical use of these tools.”