The 4 types of AI Google says it won't develop

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has outlined seven principles guiding the company's work related to artificial intelligence.

In a June 7 blog post, Mr. Pichai emphasized the principles — ranging from "avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias" to "be accountable to people" — are not theoretical concepts, but "concrete standards that will actively govern our research and product development and will impact our business decisions."

"We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use," Mr. Pichai wrote. "As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right."

Along with the seven principles, Mr. Pichai laid out four types of AI Google will not design or deploy. Here are the four areas Mr. Pichai detailed in his blog post, reproduced below in their entirety:

1. Technologies that cause or are likely to cause overall harm. Where there is a material risk of harm, we will proceed only where we believe that the benefits substantially outweigh the risks, and will incorporate appropriate safety constraints.

2. Weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.

3. Technologies that gather or use information for surveillance violating internationally accepted norms.

4. Technologies whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.

Mr. Pichai's blog post follows Google's recent decision not to renew a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, which included work leveraging AI to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The company's work with the DOD had resulted in backlash against the company among the public and its employees, according to The New York Times.

In his blog post, Mr. Pichai emphasized that while Google will not develop AI for use in weapons, the company will "continue our work with governments and the military in many other areas. These include cybersecurity, training, military recruitment, veterans' healthcare, and search and rescue."

To access Mr. Pichai's blog post, click here.

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