Google Forms Advisory Council To Guide AI Development

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How to ensure fairness and ethics in machine learning and artificial intelligence? Google creates advisory body

Google has announced the creation of an external advisory council made of up of experts from around the world, to provide it with guidance on ethical issues relating to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Google said the council would help it implement principles to address some of Google’s most complex challenges to do with facial recognition and fairness in machine learning.

The creation of the council comes after Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in June 2018 created new principles for AI use at Google, and pledged not to use AI for technology that causes injury to people.


Project Maven

Pichai’s intervention came after Google and its parent company Alphabet had pledged to end the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for weapons systems.

Specifically, Google said last year it would not renew a contract to do artificial intelligence work for the US Pentagon.

The project was codenamed Project Maven, and Google’s decision to withdraw came after internal pressure from Google staff, some of whom had resigned over the matter.

Google’s involvement in Project Maven aimed to speed up the analysis of drone footage.

Essentially, the search engine giant was said to be using machine-learning algorithms and AI to help the US military assess drone footage quickly, in order to distinguish people and objects in drone videos.

AI guidance

And now in a blog post by Kent Walker, SVP of global affairs, the search engine giant said it was creating an advisory council called the ‘Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC)’, to offer guidance on the ethical use of AI.

The eight-member council includes Joanna Bryson, an associate professor in computing at the University of Bath; William J. Burns, a former US deputy secretary of state, and leading mathematician Bubacarr Bah.

It is understood the council is expected to publish a report at the end of 2019, and it will meet four times this year, beginning in April.

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