April 05, 2019
Considering ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, Alphabet Inc’s Google dissolved a council it had formed a week earlier.
Launched on March 26, the council was meant to provide recommendations for Google and other companies and researchers working in areas such as facial recognition software. This software, a form of automation has prompted concerns about racial bias and other limitations.
The council had run into controversy over two of its members, according to online news portal Vox, which first reported the dissolution of the council.
The eight-member Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) included technical experts and digital ethicists. “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,” a Google representative said in an emailed statement. The Vox report said Google employees had signed a petition calling for the removal of one of the members over comments about transsexual people and added that the inclusion of a drone company executive had raised debate over the use of Google’s AI for military applications.
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