Last year, Google published its AI Principles in response to Project Maven backlash and revealed plans for an external advisory group. The company today announced an Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) to consider “complex challenges” related to AI, like facial recognition.

This external Council — announced at the EmTech Digital 2019 conference — compliments Google’s internal governance structure, which consists of a “responsible innovation team,” Alphabet senior experts, and a council of senior executives. The first deals with day-to-day operations and initial assessments, while the latter two groups provide expertise, and “handle the most complex and difficult issues.”

ATEAC will “consider” current issues like facial recognition — which Google has opted out of offering a service for until policy questions are addressed — and fairness in machine learning. “Diverse perspectives” will be provided by eight individuals that have varying careers, including:

  • Alessandro Acquisti, a leading behavioral economist and privacy researcher.
  • Bubacarr Bah, an expert in applied and computational mathematics
  • De Kai, a leading researcher in natural language processing, music technology and machine learning
  • Dyan Gibbens, an expert in industrial engineering and unmanned systems.
  • Joanna Bryson, an expert in psychology and AI, and a longtime leader in AI ethics
  • Kay Coles James, a public policy expert with extensive experience working at the local, state and federal levels of government
  • Luciano Floridi, a leading philosopher and expert in digital ethics
  • William Joseph Burns, a foreign policy expert and diplomat

The group will meet four times in 2019 starting next month, with full biographies available here. Google will publish a report summarizing discussions, while members are encouraged “to share generalizable learnings in their ongoing activities.”


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