It’s not just our politicians who can’t make their minds up!
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It’s not just our politicians who can’t make their minds up!

It’s not just our politicians who can’t make their minds up!

Posted on 8th April 2019

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Artificial intelligence

As you may have seen in the news last week, the UK government has no monopoly on creating debacles that would be entertaining if they were not so important. Now, it seems that even very large companies are getting in on the act….

After Google set up an independent group to oversee the company’s approach to AI and ethics it then proceeded to shut it down less than a fortnight after its launch. The reason seems to have been that one of the members of this board has views that the others did not approve of and, according to the BBC, “thousands of Google employees signed a petition calling for her removal, over what they described as ‘anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant’ comments.”

This Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) was to have been Google’s window on the world of AI, offering opinion and intelligence on the incredibly important area of AI, facial recognition and machine learning.  We have written previously on our blog about the concerns we have about the potential for abuse of AI and the need for governments in particular to get the balance right between protecting individual rights and allowing the practical application of the technology to benefit the economy, but it seems as if Google can’t even begin to agree who should be involved in making these decisions for their own company.  In my view, it’s worrying that a massive and, let’s not forget, very powerful company such as Google thinks that it can monitor itself in respect of AI.  Surely this is an issue for government?  However, here’s a provocative question for you: who would you trust more to come up with a balanced, sensible approach to AI and ethics – Google or the current US President?  Ethics are not easy…

Nikola Kelly, MD, Be-IT

Posted in News, Opinion

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