On Thursday, Google announced that it decided to dissolve its newly-formed AI ethics council. Last week the search giant formed a board to consider ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. The sudden change signifies the change the aggressive push back from more than 2,000 Google workers. Employees at technology companies are speaking publicly against actions their employers are taking. Google assigned the elements of its Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) on the 26th of March. The group was supposed to supervise its work on AI and verify that it doesn’t cross any rules. According to Vox, Google’s decision to name arguable figures as board members is liable for the failure. Besides, the council crashed with controversy from the very beginning.
ATEAC, an eight-person committee, had faced objection since its establishment. The board included various prominent figures from different fields. It primarily included veterans from sectors like AI, phycology, robotics, and philosophy. Even more, it had a handful of people with policy backgrounds. All in all, it included technology experts and digital ethicists. On Monday, Google employees appealed the company to remove Kay Coles James from the board. Kay is the president of conservative research institute the Heritage Foundation. Googlers requested her departure claiming her anti-LGBTQ views and attitude on relocation. The letter reads, by appointing James in the board, Google raises and supports her views. The employees revealed massive unacceptance of the member.
Another disputable member in the council was Dyan Gibbens, founder of Trumbull Unmanned. Dyan is a person whose interview revived the use of Google-built AI for the army. In the end, the search giant decided to shut down its new counsel. One of the Google spokespeople stated it has become evident that in current circumstances, ATEAC cannot work up to the mark. The representative added, thus they are ending the board and getting back to the drawing board. The company will continue to be prudent in its work on the crucial issues that are introduced by AI. The spokesperson assures Google would also look for various ways of coming up with outside views on these topics.