Employees at Google are once again unhappy with the company after the appointment of conservative Kay Coles James to the company’s newly formed A.I. advisory council.
The MIT technology review reports that Google is facing more internal backlash from employees following the appointment of Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James to the company’s new A.I. advisory board. Google has faced an “ethical minefield” when attempting to develop its A.I. systems; the company has been accused on multiple occasions of ethical and racial bias in the development of these systems.
Now Google is attempting to combat this issue by creating an artificial intelligence advisory council linkedin.com/in/dyan-gibbens-8b03051acomprised of philosophers, engineers, and policy experts. During the EmTech Digital A.I. conference in San Francisco, Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president for global affairs and chief legal office announced the formation of the council.
Walker stated that the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) will review the company’s A.I. projects and plans. The council will reportedly have no particular agenda except to make sure that Google sticks to its own A.I. principles and guidelines. Walker stated that the groups reports “will help keep us honest.”
Those chosen to sit on the advisory board are Alessandro Acquisti, Bubacarr Bah, De Kai, Dyan Gibbens, Joanna Bryson, Kay Coles James, Luciano Floridi, and William Joseph Burns. But there has reportedly been vocal opposition within Google to the inclusion of both Gibbens and James. Gibbens is the founder and CEO of a drone company, an area of technology which has already caused vocal protests at Google.
James, however, has committed the crime of being a conservative and acting as president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank which has questioned issues such as climate change. However, it seems that for now Google is not caving and is keeping James on the council.
During the EmTech conference, Walker discussed the emerging A.I. risks that the council would have to watch for, such as A.I.-powered video manipulation and misinformation. During this discussion, he stated something which Breitbart News has noted about Google for some time: “How do we detect this across our platforms? We are working very hard on this,” he said. “We are a search engine, not a truth engine.”