Google made an official announcement on Thursday stating that it has pulled the plug on the controversial AI ethics panel after the public made a huge outcry about the moralities of its members. The group, known as Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), involved AI experts who weren’t Google employees. The core idea of forming ATEAC was to guide Google on its work for AI and to address knotty issues like facial recognition and some parts of machine learning.
ATEAC was embroiled in controversies since its announcement. Heritage Foundation President Kay Cole James, a key member, was accused of homophobia and promoting anti-immigrant ideologies. Thousands of Google employees signed a petition seeking his removal from the panel. Another member, Alessandro Acquisti, had already opted out of the group before all the hue and cry began. The peculiar this is that the panel lasted only a week after its creation.
Google in an official statement said, “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. 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.”
After this panel was dissolved, Google CEO Sundar Pichai released guidelines to be followed while creating AI technology. The vows acknowledged never to use AI as a weapon and to create technology only for social benefits.