Google is dissolving the AI ethics council that it formed last week: Report

Google employees had signed a petition calling for the removal of one of the members.

Alphabet Inc's Google said on Thursday it was dissolving a council it had formed a week earlier to consider ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

The council had run into controversy over two of its members, according to online news portal Vox, which first reported the dissolution of the council.

The council, launched on 26 March, was meant to provide recommendations for Google and other companies and researchers working in areas such as facial recognition software, a form of automation that has prompted concerns about racial bias and other limitations.

Google is dissolving the AI ethics council that it formed last week: Report

Google. Image: Reuters

The eight-member Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) included technology experts and digital ethicists.

"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," a Google representative said in an emailed statement.

The Vox report said Google employees had signed a petition calling for the removal of one of the members over comments about transsexual people and added that the inclusion of a drone company executive had raised debate over the use of Google's AI for military applications.

 

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