Google tasks advisory board with 'ethical' AI oversight

Google assembles arms-length advisory board for AI oversight

Google has taken steps to assuage fears of unethical AI use by appointing an external panel of eight advisers tasked with monitoring its own research to ensure it remains ‘socially beneficial’.

The Advanced Technology External Advisory Council has been tasked with ensuring AI activities sit within the ethical bounds established by Google last year.

It has drawn experts from a wide range of disciplines from mathematics, philosophy and computer science to psychology, engineering and government policy and includes senior officials from the University of Oxford, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and UC Berkeley.

More controversially the lineup also counts Kay Coles James, president of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, among the group.

Launching the board, Kent Walker, Google’s senior legal adviser, wrote: “This group will consider some of Google’s most complex challenges that arise under our AI Principles ... providing diverse perspectives to inform our work.”

Google’s AI caution has been sparked by alarmist commentary from leading thinkers and industrialists, most notably Elon Musk who frets that developments could pose a greater threat than nuclear weapons.

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