We previously reported that Google was having “issues” with its newly created AI ethics board as a result of controversy surrounding certain board members. In a Vox exclusive, Google has since confirmed that they have dissolved the AI ethics board having barely managed a full week.
The board was founded to guide “responsible development of AI” at Google and would convene several times per year to discuss and debate any concerns surrounding Google’s AI program.
A petition requesting the removal of one of the controversial board members was signed by over two-thousand Google staff members. This petition was created as board member and Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James had made comments about the trans community and her organization’s skepticism of climate change.
Another board member, Alessandro Acquisiti had already resigned while Joanna Bryson vehemently defended her own decision not to resign from the board. Bryson had commented on Twitter: “Believe it or not, I know worse about one of the other people.”
This came as many of the other board members were questioned about the justification for their membership on this advisory team.
A Google spokesperson confirmed to Vox that in light of these recent controversies, the entire panel would be dissolved effective immediately.
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. We’ll continue to be responsible in our work on the important issues that AI raises, and will find different ways of getting outside opinions on these topics.
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