Is Ethical A.I. Even Possible? [nytimes.com]
When a news article revealed that Clarifai [clarifai.com] was working with the Pentagon and some employees questioned the ethics of building artificial intelligence that analyzed video captured by drones, the company said the project would save the lives of civilians and soldiers.
"Clarifai's mission is to accelerate the progress of humanity with continually improving A.I.," read a blog post [clarifai.com] from Matt Zeiler, the company's founder and chief executive, and a prominent A.I. researcher. Later, in a news media interview [fastcompany.com], Mr. Zeiler announced a new management position that would ensure all company projects were ethically sound.
As activists, researchers, and journalists voice concerns over the rise of artificial intelligence, warning against biased, deceptive and malicious applications, the companies building this technology are responding. From tech giants like Google and Microsoft to scrappy A.I. start-ups, many are creating corporate principles meant to ensure their systems are designed and deployed in an ethical way. Some set up ethics officers or review boards to oversee these principles.
But tensions continue to rise as some question whether these promises will ultimately be kept. Companies can change course. Idealism can bow to financial pressure. Some activists — and even some companies — are beginning to argue that the only way to ensure ethical practices is through government regulation.
"We don't want to see a commercial race to the bottom," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said at the New Work Summit in Half Moon Bay, Calif., hosted last week by The New York Times. "Law is needed."
Possible != Probable. And the "needed law" could come in the form of a ban and/or surveillance of coding and hardware-building activities.
U.N. Starts Discussion on Lethal Autonomous Robots [soylentnews.org]
UK Opposes "Killer Robot" Ban [soylentnews.org]
Robot Weapons: What's the Harm? [soylentnews.org]
The UK Government Urged to Establish an Artificial Intelligence Ethics Board [soylentnews.org]
Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War" [soylentnews.org]
South Korea's KAIST University Boycotted Over Alleged "Killer Robot" Partnership [soylentnews.org]
About a Dozen Google Employees Have Resigned Over Project Maven [soylentnews.org]
Google Drafting Ethics Policy for its Involvement in Military Projects [soylentnews.org]
Google Will Not Continue Project Maven After Contract Expires in 2019 [soylentnews.org]
Uproar at Google after News of Censored China Search App Breaks [soylentnews.org]
"Senior Google Scientist" Resigns over Chinese Search Engine Censorship Project [soylentnews.org]
Google Suppresses Internal Memo About China Censorship; Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split [soylentnews.org]
Leaked Transcript Contradicts Google's Denials About Censored Chinese Search Engine [soylentnews.org]
Senators Demand Answers About Google+ Breach; Project Dragonfly Undermines Google's Neutrality [soylentnews.org]
Google's Secret China Project "Effectively Ended" After Internal Confrontation [soylentnews.org]
Microsoft Misrepresented HoloLens 2 Field of View, Faces Backlash for Military Contract [soylentnews.org]