Not that we should be all that surprised by this turn out. Google decided it needed to have an ethics council concerning artificial intelligence. OK. Then it decided that it should have a range of ethical views on such an AI council. That seems fair enough really. Then it abolished the AI council because someone with right wing views was on the ethics council. Which isn’t quite the point at all now, is it?
Or, of course, it is if you’d like to make sure that only one particular flavour of ethics gets discussed or represented when we’re concerned with AI. Which might be great politics but it’s lousy ethics:
Google scraps AI ethics council after backlash: ‘Back to the drawing board’
Decision comes after employees called for the removal of a rightwing thinktank leader from the council
That right winger was from Heritage. Really, hardly all that right wing. We’re not talking neo-Nazis here, even before we get to the truth that the Nazis were left wing.
Google is ending a new artificial intelligence ethics council just one week after launching it, following protests from employees over the appointment of a rightwing thinktank leader. The rapid downfall of the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), which was dedicated to “the responsible development of AI”, came after more than 2,000 Google workers signed a petition criticizing the company’s selection of an anti-LGBT advocate. “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 spokesperson told the Guardian in a statement on Thursday.
The call from Google employees is of course one that only their brand of ethics should be considered here. Rather like the Nazis themselves of course – sure, you can say anything you want as long as you already agree with us.
The controversy centred on the fact that James has repeatedly expressed transphobic views, and that her organisation has criticised and opposed climate change, immigration and LGBTQ+ rights.
Rather a lot of us oppose climate change of course. And LGTBQ+ rights? There is still that rather large Christian constituency in the United States and they do get to have a say on matters ethical, no?
Actually, the best analogy for this isn’t the Nazis, it’s the Soviets. Absolutely anyone could stand for election in that system as long as they were already members of the Communist Party or its allies. Only those with the appropriate views were allowed to be involved in setting the rules that is. So, yes, this is all rather Soviet, isn’t it?