Originally posted March 30, 2019
Here is an excerpt:
Tech giants are starting to create mechanisms for outside experts to help them with AI ethics—but not always in the ways ethicists want. Google, for instance, announced the members of its new AI ethics council this week—such boards promise to be a rare opportunity for underrepresented groups to be heard. It faced criticism, however, for selecting Kay Coles James, the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation. James has made statements against the Equality Act, which would protect sexual orientation and gender identity as federally protected classes in the US. Those and other comments would seem to put her at odds with Google’s pitch as being a progressive and inclusive company. (Google declined Quartz’s request for comment.)
AI ethicist Joanna Bryson, one of the few members of Google’s new council who has an extensive background in the field, suggested that the inclusion of James helped the company make its ethics oversight more appealing to Republicans and conservative groups. Also on the council is Dyan Gibbens, who heads drone company Trumbull Unmanned and sat next to Donald Trump at a White House roundtable in 2017.
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