AI and Ethical Concerns: Sure, When “Ethics” Means Money

June 11, 2024

dinosaur30a_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dinobaby. Unlike some folks, no smart software improved my native ineptness.

It seems workers continue to flee OpenAI over ethical concerns. The Byte reports, “Another OpenAI Researcher Quits, Issuing Cryptic Warning.” Understandably unwilling to disclose details, policy researcher Gretchen Kreuger announced her resignation on X. She did express a few of her concerns in broad strokes:

“We need to do more to improve foundational things, like decision-making processes; accountability; transparency; documentation; policy enforcement; the care with which we use our own technology; and mitigations for impacts on inequality, rights, and the environment.”

Kreuger emphasized these important issues not only affect communities now but also influence who controls the direction of pervasive AI systems in the future. Right now, that control is in the hands of the tech bros running AI firms. Writer Maggie Harrison Dupré notes Krueger’s departure comes as OpenAI is dealing with a couple of scandals. Other high-profile resignations have also occurred in recent months. We are reminded:

“[Recent] departures include that of Ilya Sutskever, who served as OpenAI’s chief scientist, and Jan Leike, a top researcher on the company’s now-dismantled ’Superalignment’ safety team — which, in short, was the division effectively in charge of ensuring that a still-theoretical human-level AI wouldn’t go rogue and kill us all. Or something like that. Sutskever was also a leader within the Superalignment division. And to that end, it feels very notable that all three of these now-ex-OpenAI workers were those who worked on safety and policy initiatives. It’s almost as if, for some reason, they felt as though they were unable to successfully do their job in ensuring the safety and security of OpenAI’s products — part of which, of course, would reasonably include creating pathways for holding leadership accountable for their choices.”

Yes, most of us would find that reasonable. For members of that leadership, though, it seems escaping accountability is a top priority.

Cynthia Murrell, June 11, 2024


Got something to say?

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta