Google Dissolves Its AI Ethics Council in Just One Week of its Formation

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Search engine giant, Google announced that it is dissolving its AI ethics board today. Launched on March 26, the council was formed with the sole purpose to –

  • Consider ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, and
  • Provide recommendations to Google and other companies and researchers working in areas such as facial recognition software.

However, due to a controversy regarding the company’s selection of members, the company had to dissolve the council.

First reported by Vox, the main reason behind this decision is inclusion of Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James, a noted conservative figure who has openly espoused anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and, through the Heritage Foundation, worked hard to extend rights of transgender and to fight climate change.

As per the reports, many employees working at Google have signed a petition to remove one of the members over the comments he made about transsexual people. Not just this, the inclusion of a drone company also raised the debate over use of Google’s AI for military applications, leading to the dissolution of the board.

In an emailed statement, a representative of Google stated, “It’s become clear that in the current environment, ATEAC can’t function as we wanted. So we’re ending the council and going back to the drawing board.”


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