Google dissolves AI ethics board just 9 days after its creation

Google has dissolved its AI ethics board just a week after it was founded to guide “responsible development of AI” within the company.

Vox first reported the news April 4, nine days after Google announced the creation of its Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), an eight-member board slated to meet four times over the course of 2019 to discuss concerns about Google’s AI program.

Worries arose early on about several board members, including Heritage Foundation president Kay Cole James and drone company CEO Dyan Gibbens. James has come under fire for her comments about transgender people and her organization’s skepticism of climate change, while Gibbens has reopened the debate about using Google’s AI for military applications.

Some 2,300 Google employees signed a petition to remove James from the ATEAC, and Alessandro Acquisti, a privacy researcher and ATEAC board member, announced his resignation four days after Google founded the council. Other board members were pressed to justify their decisions to stay.

“It’s become clear that in the current environment, ATEAC can’t function as we wanted,” Google said in a brief, 53-word statement. “So we’re ending the council and going back to the drawing board. We’ll continue to be responsible in our work on the important issues that AI raises, and will find different ways of getting outside opinions on these topics.”

Read the full report from Vox below: