On Thursday, Google said it was dissolving a council it had formed on March 26 to consider ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.
Alphabet Inc’s Google had to dissolve the eight-member Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) after the council had run into controversy over two of its members according to online news portal Vox.
ATEAC launched on March 26, was meant to consider concerns about Google’s AI program. Those concerns include how AI can enable authoritarian states, how AI algorithms produce disparate outcomes, whether to work on military applications of AI and more.
The council was dissolved after thousands of Google employees signed a petition calling for the removal of one board member, Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James, over her comments about trans people and her organization’s scepticism of climate change as reported by the Vox.
A Google representative said in an emailed statement, “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.”
Meanwhile, the inclusion of drone company CEO Dyan Gibbens reopened old divisions in the company over the use of the company’s AI for military applications.