Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Google bans its AI tech in weapons

IvyMikeShot 16-9 nuclear bomb Google's new AI principles are vague and meaningless - AndroidPIT
Russell Knight | 08 June, 2018, 22:27

"While this means that we will not pursue certain types of government contracts", Greene wrote, "we want to assure our customers and partners that we are still doing everything we can within these guidelines to support our government, the military and our veterans".

Google has released its much-anticipated guidelines for its work with artificial intelligence, the succinct document states Google won't work to develop AI weapons but will continue its work with the military. These workers protested the company's involvement in Project Maven - the controversial collaboration between Google and the US Department of Defense.

Breakthroughs in the cost and performance of advanced computers have carried AI from research labs into industries such as defense and health in the last couple of years.

But the potential of AI systems to pinpoint drone strikes better than military specialists or identify dissidents from mass collection of online communications has sparked concerns among academic ethicists and Google employees.

Diane Greene, the head of Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post on Thursday that Google will continue to honor the controversial Project Maven contract that it entered into previous year.

Google AI chief Jeff Dean and more than 3,000 employees signed a petition urging the company to commit to never create autonomous weapons.

A nine-employee committee drafted the AI principles, according to an internal email seen by Reuters.

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Google has unveiled a set of principles that it will use to steer its work with AI. Among other things, Google specifically details things it will not pursue as part of its AI efforts.

Today Google unveiled a new set of principles guiding its approach to artificial intelligence, including a pledge not to build AI weapons, "technologies that gather or use information for surveillance violating internationally accepted norms" or ones "whose objective contravenes widely accepted principles of global law and human rights".

"The clear statement that they won't facilitate violence or totalitarian surveillance is meaningful", University of Washington technology law professor Ryan Calo tweeted on Thursday.

"We will reserve the right to prevent or stop uses of our technology if we become aware of uses that are inconsistent with these principles", the company said. "We will seek to avoid unjust impacts on people, particularly those related to sensitive characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, income, sexual orientation, ability, and political or religious belief".

Pichai's memo lists seven principles.

Google's decision to restrict military work has inspired criticism from members of Congress.

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