Google’s AI Ethical Code

Google’s AI Ethical Code

The possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) seem to be endless, as it can be used to analyze and interact with data in a way that no human could have ever imagined.  AI was designed with the intentions of advancing science for a greater good, however, there is currently a hot debate in the field regarding AI and ethics- as some recent applications of AI have begun to transgress societal morality.  Per Google’s seven ethical principles recently published, the intent for AI is: to be socially beneficial, avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias, be built and tested for safety, be accountable to people, incorporate privacy design principles, uphold high standards of scientific excellence, and to be made available for uses that accord with these principles.  Google released their seven ethical principles in response to the panic by their employees earlier this year when the firm signed a contract with the Department of Defense, as the idea of AI fused with warfare technology is a scary thought for many.  These principles diffuse the idea that Google is merging AI and warfare technology, and will hopefully become the gold standard of principles in the world of AI.


Whenever a new technology or field of study is created, it is often usual that an ethical debate closely follows.  At first, we must ask does this new field transgress ethical values held by the firm and society?  Many see how beneficial AI can be when applied to a myriad of business, manufacturing, healthcare, at home, and even educational environments.  Examples of this can be seen (insert hard plug for what Simtelligent has done in these fields).  However, there are also many people on the opposite end of the spectrum that view AI as immoral because it presents a means of creating artificial life, and when taken to an extreme, it can be used to make warfare technology more efficient than it has ever been.  The idea that AI can be used to systematically take the lives of hundreds of thousands of humans is a hard pill to swallow.  This is why we believe that principles, such as the ones published by Google in 2018, are necessary guidelines that we must follow closely.  With the advancement of technology, there will always be those who desire to implement it with genuinely kind intentions, and those who wish to implement it with malicious intent.  By having principles in place, firms have a means of creating checks and balances to ensure that AI is used purely in a way that benefits society.  What changes have you noticed in your local environment as a result of AI?  Have these changes made a positive impact?  Do you agree or disagree with Google’s ethical principles?

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Post by Paul Beninca

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