Google Claims Its Artificial Intelligence Will Not Be Used for Weapons
09 June, 2018, 21:49 | Author: Mary Valdez
The new principles follow months of debate inside Google over AI technology it had developed for the USA military for analyzing drone footage as part of what was known as Project Maven. The Web giant - famous for its past "Don't be evil" mantra - is in the running for two multibillion-dollar Defense Department contracts for office and cloud services. But Google is joining other labs in saying it may hold back certain research if it believes others will misuse it.
A recent report claimed that Google won't be renewing its Project Maven contract next year due to the outcry, though leaked emails reportedly revealed that Google's higher ups were eager for such contracts.
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 goal contravenes widely accepted principles of worldwide law and human rights". The Google official acknowledged that enforcement would be hard because the company cannot track each use of its tools, some of which can be downloaded free of charge and used privately. The principles also state that the company will work to avoid "unjust impacts" in its AI algorithms by injecting racial, sexual or political bias into automated decision-making.
Google AI chief Jeff Dean and more than 3,000 employees signed a petition urging the company to commit to never create autonomous weapons. The proposed limit on the use of AI for surveillance is positive, but the language was too cautious, the person said. They asked not to be identified criticising their employer. Those principles include not building applications that can be used as weapons or cause harm to humans. We will strive to make high-quality and accurate information readily available using AI, while continuing to respect cultural, social, and legal norms in the countries where we operate.
Resistance to Project Maven was serious enough that at least a dozen staffers reportedly resigned in protest.
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Google said Thursday that it would not let its artificial intelligence (A.I.) tools be used for deadly weapons or surveillance.
"Ultimately, how the company enacts these principles is what will matter more than statements such as this", Asaro said. "Bit vague in places", he wrote on Twitter.
"It's so exciting that we're close to getting MAVEN!"
The new rules could set the tone for the deployment of AI far beyond Google, as rivals in Silicon Valley and around the world compete for supremacy in self-driving cars, automated assistants, robotics, military AI and other industries.
While this is how we're choosing to approach AI, we understand there is room for many voices in this conversation. "And we will continue to share what we have learned about ways to improve AI technologies and practices".
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