Google has now cancelled its AI ethics board after a backlash from staff

The council lasted barely more than a week, after thousands of Google employees signed a petition calling for the removal of one member.

The Advanced Technology External Advisory Council was set up to “guide responsible development of AI” projects within Google. It had eight members, including technologists, philosophers, and economists, and was meant to hold four meetings a year, starting this month.

Concerns centered on the inclusion of Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James on the panel. Her think tank is skeptical about climate change, and she has personally argued against the protection of LGBTQ rights. Another panel member, drone company CEO Dyan Gibbens, was also controversial given her company provides technology to the military— a sensitive subject within Google. So, Google is ending the council and going back to the drawing board.

The 2nd Layer of AI World Society (AIWS) is Ethics, and AIWS is building the AIWS Ethics Index. It will be announced late June 2019 at the AI Government Conference in Washington DC, and there will be an AIWS Distinguished Lecture on the Charter Day of United Nations at its headquarters in New York.