Google has scrapped its AI ethics board only a week after forming it following a controversy over its choice of board members.

The tech giant last week unveiled its newly-formed Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) to oversee the ethical development and use of its AI research and products.

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But the move sparked criticism as Google employees hit out at the appointment of Kay Coles James, president of US think tank The Heritage Foundation.

More than two thousand staff members called for James to be removed from the ethics board due to her stance on trans and LGBT people and immigration.

Google has now abandoned plans for the committee, saying it was “going back to the drawing board”.

The capitulation, first reported by Vox, came after an embarrassing week for Google as members of the nascent ethics board waded into the public spat.

Alessandro Acquisti, a behavioural economist and privacy researcher, wrote on Twitter that he had turned down Googles offer of a place on the board.

Oxford philosopher Luciano Floridi took to Facebook to say he had accepted the invitation, but said the decision to appoint James was a “grave error”.

Meanwhile, another board member, Joanna Bryson, defended James, saying: “Believe it or not, I know worse about other people”.

Googles decision to ditch the board will come as a blow to campaigners concerned about howRead More – Source

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