Alphabet Google Ethics Board: Planning R Us

April 5, 2019

I found this item amusing: “Google Cancels AI Ethics Board in Response to Outcry.” Google’s attempt to get — in the words of a PR expert I once knew — in front of the building tsunami of government push back against the online ad company is no more. That which made me laugh was that Facebook’s call for regulation did not seem to stimulate such robust activity. I assume that someone younger and brighter than I might make a case that public opinion is discriminating against Facebook.

The write up states:

Google told Vox [my real news source] on Thursday that it’s pulling the plug on the ethics board. The board survived for barely more than one week.

Each time Amazon launches a new service, there’s an expectation that the oddly named and almost monikers will continue to chug along no matter what the online bookstore does. Sure, Amazon killed its mobile phone and a bunch of third party sellers. That’s not quite the pace of ideas-killed-off for the GOOG.

Let’s set aside the notion of people who wanted to help Google figure out AI ethics for a moment. The key fact for me is that high school science club management methods are in use.

Planning? Check.

Efficiency? Check.

Staff management? Check.

Participant recruitment? Check

What could go wrong? Apparently quite a bit.

Stephen E Arnold, April 5, 2019


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