back to article Back to drawing board as Google cans AI ethics council amid complaints over right-wing member

Google has canned its AI ethics board after just a week due to outcry over its choice of panel members, claiming it would find "different ways" to bring in outside opinions. The Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) was announced on 26 March and immediately inundated with complaints over the inclusion of Kay …

  1. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Diversity not an option?

    Google resembles the Red Guards more every day :-)

    BTW, does she really "oppose climate change"? It's seems like an exercise in futility to me, but I thought the great and the good were rather keen on just that!

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Diversity not an option?

      Baah.. Beat me to it on the "oppose climate change" comment!

      1. BillG Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Diversity not an option?

        I also oppose "climate change", I believe the climate should be the same every single day everywhere on the planet. As a consequence I oppose the change of seasons, too.

        1. Mephistro Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Diversity not an option?

          Do something about the day/night issue and you'll have my vote!

    2. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Diversity not an option?

      Apparently there are at least 2300 Googlers that truly value diversity as long as it doesn't diverge from their group think.

      1. Drew Scriver

        Re: Diversity not an option?

        Since less than 3% of Google employees spoke out against the inclusion of someone who holds opposing views it is clear that they still have a long road to travel.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: they still have a long road to travel

          But hey! The autopilot is on it!

      2. anonanonanon

        Re: Diversity not an option?

        That's not correct, they're only being respectful of their beliefs, some people don't believe in diversity, so it's only respectful to exclude them.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      They didn't care about the composition of the board

      Its job was to whitewash Google's lack of ethics by allowing Google to claim all the evil stuff they do was passed by their ethics board. They probably needed a diversity of opinion because they would likely require the board vote a supermajority or even be unanimous to stop Google from doing something on ethical grounds.

      They needed a warmonger or two on the board so they could work with the DoD on Skynet's AI while claiming they were observing the highest ethical standards because their board approved it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They didn't care about the composition of the board

        She isn't a warmonger, though.

    4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Google's Red Guards

      "If you are not part of the groupthink hive mind, you are the enemy. Individual thought of any kind will not be tolerated. Resistance is futile." - Google

  2. NukEvil
    Flame

    Living in their heads

    rent fREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    "It's become clear that ATEAC won't function as we wanted"

    That is quite a telling statement, shirley if the panel were composed off free thinkers then it could function in a way that could help to direct Google's ethics rather than approving the ethic/s that Google wants.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That is why this is trange.

      If you do not choose an authority for ethics, then you need a broad and diverse ethics board.

      Thus you either pre-assume your conclusion that A is right and B is wrong, or you have a mix of A and B and hear each out.

      So it's less an "ethics" board, and more a "enforcement board". That's fine. You just have to be honest. To yourself and to others. Are you learning about ethics, or imposing your ethics?

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      It does nicely illustrate that this was more for the appearance of propriety than anything else.

  4. Jim-234

    So will they try again to pick a new "Ethics advisory board" that only includes people with a specific viewpoint set, and if they accidentally let in some people representing opposing views, will they trash the next board and try again till they get one that all has the same specific viewpoint?

    Our new AI overlords might just see that this explains why human input is unreliable, useless and decide to do what they want and who cares what the meat sacks think.

    1. Halfmad

      I'd honestly argue that having a diverse group on the council is better than having one chosen from the various Google staffer safe spaces where it will predominantly be left-leaning.

      They need to get a range of people on there if it's to be useful, which I doubt it will be anyway. However there is a slim chance that it'll be more than a rubber stamping system for Google's random unethical AI plans.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        predominantly be left-leaning.

        Well as the modern right wing are almost by definition unethical, unless the exercise was to rubber stamp evil actions a leftward stance is inevitable.

        Perhaps a reformation of the right wing away from persecution of non-heterosexuals, understanding of the urgency of acting to mitigate climate change and all the other nasty views they seem to enjoy would be a better idea.

        1. Halfmad

          Oh dear you need to crawl back to that safe space. What you describe is not right wing, it's bigoted and no the two are not intrinsically linked.

          1. DJO Silver badge

            Maybe not intrinsically but there certainly seems to be a high degree of correlation of socially abhorrent views and right wing tendencies.

            I don't say there are no left leaning bigots, there are, but there are a lot more right leaning ones and they seem to embrace it as part of their political stance and are encouraged to do so by the actions of some right wing "leaders" such as Trump.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              "high degree of correlation of socially abhorrent views and right wing tendencies"

              Unfortunately, since you are left-leaning (from what I can gather), and you are defining the term 'socially abhorrent', of course there would be a correlation.

              It's just this kind of illogical and narrow-minded thinking that a diverse ethics board would help to stop. Unfortunately, 'diversity' in today's society means diversity of all attributes except opinion.

            2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: but there are a lot more right leaning ones

              Unless you occupy the statistical center point - there will ALWAYS be a majority of the opposing camp - as it will from your perspective, include not only the 'opposing' faction, but centrists/moderates/ the less devout/fanatical of your own side... so your fear is justifiable and rational.

              BUT not as rational and justifiable as the centrist/moderates - who are outnumbered and SURROUNDED by crazies...

            3. Rol Silver badge

              One of the many differences between the left and the right, is that the left can merrily exist without the right, whereas the right couldn't get out of bed without the motivation of something to hate.

              Trump acceded to power, not through people voting for their love of America. No! It was their hatred of everything non-American, that got them off their fat asses and into the polling booths.

              1. Nial

                "One of the many differences between the left and the right, is that the left can merrily exist without the right, whereas the right couldn't get out of bed without the motivation of something to hate"

                The right can merrily exist as long as they're being left alone, whereas the left can't get out of bed without the motivation of someone to control/ opinion to shut down.

            4. Wilseus

              "I don't say there are no left leaning bigots, there are, but there are a lot more right leaning ones and they seem to embrace it as part of their political stance and are encouraged to do so by the actions of some right wing "leaders" such as Trump."

              I generally find that left leaning bigots are more insufferable, mainly because they believe they are so enlightened.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Well as the modern right wing are almost by definition unethical"

          Oh dear. You seem to have a very unethical and bigoted view of anyone who doesn't support your point of view.

          1. BigSLitleP
            Facepalm

            You're assuming he's not right wing. That's not very ethical of you.

            Lets go round in circles! That's the best way to get a point across.

        3. JimC Silver badge

          ...by definition unethical

          According to Europol via the BBC* left wing terrorist plots attacks outnumbered right wing terrorist plots and attacks by 24 to 5 in 2017. And if one were looking for the most evil man of the last couple of hundred years then I'd argue that Karl Marx' conflation of social justice with violence has killed many more millions of people than Adolf Hitler's racism..

          *https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47626859

          1. 10forcash Bronze badge

            Re: ...by definition unethical

            Wasn't the Nazi's official name 'The National Socialist Workers Party of Germany'? and IIRC their big problem with 'the jews' was their holding positions of financial power over the common German after WWI reperations - mainly demanded by the French, destroyed the Germans higher eschelons of business, banking & government structure. Business being business, the small, independent businesses flourished in this environment, mostly furnished with private loans from 'home bankers' - predominantly Jewish, who charged an increasing interest rate as the businesses grew....

            As I understand it, that was the main reason why many 'Good Germans' tolerated and in some cases prosecuted the anti Jewish actions from the mid 1930's, leading up to "Kristallnacht" in 1938, despite many German Jews having been integrated into German (and to a lesser extent, Austrian) society.

            1. DJO Silver badge

              Re: ...by definition unethical

              Old chestnuts still taste bad, we all know that the Nazi party was less "socialist" than the current Republicans. It's a given truth that when a political party has the name of a system such as "socialist" or "communist" or "democratic" that party will almost inevitably be diametrically opposed to the tenets of that system, the name is to lure people in, not to reflect intentions.

              1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

                Re: ...by definition unethical

                The "Socialism" of the Nazi's confused me briefly, but I did figure it out. They were not Socialists, they were National Socialists. Completely different concept. It's easy for that to cause confusion. You expect the national Conservative party to be like the Cheshire Conservative party. How much that's true, I have no idea. But you expect it. Just don't expect any National Socialist to resemble an X Socialist, for any value of X other than "National".

                1. Nial

                  Re: ...by definition unethical

                  "The "Socialism" of the Nazi's confused me briefly, but I did figure it out. They were not Socialists, they were National Socialists. Completely different concept"

                  Until you look at their policies., redistribution of wealth, state ownership of industry etc

                  1. Wilseus

                    Re: ...by definition unethical

                    "Until you look at their policies., redistribution of wealth, state ownership of industry etc"

                    The Nazis were fascist in the true sense of the word. Fascism being the socialist policies mentioned above, with a whole lot of nationalism and totalitarianism thrown in.

          2. DJO Silver badge

            Re: ...by definition unethical

            But in the USA 75% of terrorist death were caused by right wing extremists.

            The article you linked states that in Germany there were twice as many politically motivated right wing crimes than left wing crimes. Also a big problem is the police,security services and their political masters institutionally tend to lean to the right so they have disproportionately concentrated on left wing groups while ignoring many far more dangerous right wing ones and then when they deploy agent provocateurs they end up with self-fulfilling prophesies.

            Just look at the recent reports about how the Met infiltrated scores of groups, almost all left leaning and also look at how the infiltrators were often very vocal in the groups egging them on to actions they may otherwise not have considered.

            Just because the USSR called itself communist does not mean it was, they may have started out but any pretence of Marxism faded once Lenin was installed. Centralist Authoritarian would be a better description, that's "central" as in the sense of all control being centralised, not "central" as between "left" & "right". It's a complicated thesis but arguing the USSR was mainly right wing in attitude is not far-fetched.

        4. Rol Silver badge

          Doing humanity both ways

          Google could have a left leaning AI council that spent the next decade or so thrashing out all the arguments, before they settle on, word for word, the four laws of robotics as penned by Asimov.

          And then, to satisfy the right, tamper with the machine's input interface so that truth becomes lies and lies become truth.

          Resulting in a well meaning, touchy feely robot, that kills heavily disguised space aliens on sight, that are only identifiable by their low credit rating and a history of not watching Fox news..

        5. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Perhaps a reformation of the right wing away from persecution of non-heterosexuals, understanding of the urgency of acting to mitigate climate change and all the other nasty views they seem to enjoy would be a better idea.

          Ok, so I'm slightly right-wing, but haven't persecuted any non-heterosexuals. In fact I applaud the new movement to re-enable alto castratos as they can have such a lovely voice!

          But AI, computing, and inconvenient truths. So acting like we're mitigating climate change has diverted billions. At the core is a simple truth-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity

          "Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would eventually result in roughly 1 °C global warming, which is easy to calculate[note 2][5] and is undisputed.

          Which is in itself incorrect because it is disputed. Like the handy note, which makes a couple of big assumptions. But for an AI, it would be easy to test this theory. Look at insolation and see if there's been 3.7W/m2, look at temperatures and see if there's been 1°C warming. Proclaim truth!

          Unless of course the AI can't realise that the data it's looking at can and has been manipulated. Then the ethical issues that may arise from training an AI with confirmation biases.

          And that's a 'simple' numerical-ish thing for an AI to ponder.. Reanalysis of say, sports to predict future performance can have more fluid dynamics. Or perhaps an AI would determine that the best solution is to have only 2 categories for future sports, AI, and human.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Poor snowflake

          Can't you see you prove the very point you oppose?

        7. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          What I find sad about this comment is that this idiot has found 20 fellow travellers to upvote their nonsense.

          El Reg is dead. Long live El Reg.

    2. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

      Quango's

      Once a company outsources policy to a "quango", even as merely a cover for imposing it's unpopular views, it's started down the slope to irrelevance. Of course, that might be good for the rest of us :-)

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: Quango's

        You don't understand the meaning of the word Quango.

        1. BigSLitleP

          Re: Quango's

          You don't understand the intent of forming a Quango

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Quango's

            "You don't understand the intent of forming a Quango"

            You also don't understand the meaning of the word 'quango'. It stands for 'quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization', and by definition is an organization close to, but not inside, government. It has to be public sector: companies cannot set up quangos. They can set up think tanks if they want.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              Terminator

              Companies can have think tanks?

              Some ethics committee approved what?

              https://ghostintheshell.fandom.com/wiki/Think_Tank

    3. naive

      Until now our AI "overlords" crash planes and fail to prevent Tesla's from running into things, maybe the board is redundant anyway in the foreseeable future.

    4. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      The ethic board selection will run like Brexit.... voting until they get what they want?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        The ethics board selection...

        Was done by AI.

    5. Shane 4

      Of course

      Yes, Just like Brexit!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Transphobia

    The go-to "bia" when you don't want to discuss the actual topic at hand, which invariably has nothing to do with trans rights.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Transphobia

      Trans-sister rights.

    2. Ghostman
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Transphobia

      Question: Don't trans-gender individuals have the same rights as any one else? What other rights are they asking for themselves that doesn't apply to people who are not trans-gender?

      Paris, because that's the only one with a question mark.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Transphobia

        In theory yes, in practice a lot of those "rights" aren't actually written down anywhere and more or less socially decided. Since there are always people that like being contrary and believe their ideas are "the one true Truth of all Truths" this can get complicated. Simple things like what bathroom they're allowed to use are a hornets nest of opinion. It usually devolves into the argument between: "You should keep your filthy mouth shut and just allow these people to do as they want" and "They're all perverts and what is to prevent them from assaulting a woman in the bathroom just because they put on a dress?". An argument that can't have winners and knows only losers. Not in the first place the people whom it actually concerns that for the most part just want to be left alone and get on with their lives.

      2. Tom Graham

        Re: Transphobia

        They are asking for the right to dictate what other people say and think.

        Also to impose horrific treatments with unproven effects on children who are going through a period of confusion and fear about their identity and sexuality - which is basically all of them.

        Also to force women (in the biological definition of the term) to compete unfairly in sports against much stronger & heavier biological men.

        Is that enough?

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Transphobia

          Please don't tar all people with the same brush. Yes there are some complete nutjobs out there. That's not all of them. As usual it becomes hard to find the real (and reasonable) issues because a few blowhards are demanding all the attention and all the opponents aim all their attention to these same ridiculously overblown idiotic demands instead of the more reasonable center.

  6. Simon B-52

    Rabid weasels?

    I would have thought that being invited to join a panel on ethics, by Google, would be a bloody insult to anyone with even half a brain.

    However, not all share my disdain for the chocolate factory.

    The whole thing seems like a sack of rabid weasels to me.

  7. Brian Miller

    Google needs AI opinion? El Reg commentards to the rescue!

    Google wants outside opinion about AI. They don't need a committee, they just need to read the comments here.

    Alternatively, when we actually get sentient AI, just ask it for its opinion.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Google needs AI opinion? El Reg commentards to the rescue!

      Perhaps the GOOG is tired of being told to "fuck right off".

    2. Paul Herber

      Re: Google needs AI opinion? El Reg commentards to the rescue!

      Can't wait for AI to be used for prison sentencing. On being told a certain person should be given a really long sentence that person will be handed a copy of James Joyce's Ulysses. A real punishment. Ah, wait, sentience, not sentence, sorry. Not much of that in my posts!

      1. JassMan Silver badge

        Re: Google needs AI opinion? El Reg commentards to the rescue!

        @Paul Herber

        Bindun. Have a read of this story . There are many similar investigations which show it is extremely easy to get a biased ML system, without realising the consequences.

  8. baud

    In any case, the committee would have been useless: no power and like 4 meeting in a year; it was just a PR exercise from Google

  9. Nigel Sedgwick

    Ethical Ethics Policy

    How ethical is to insist on biasing ethical policy in favour of one half of the political spectrum? Your half!

    Best regards

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ethical Ethics Policy

      Its clearly important to esnure that AI doesn't skew its results by using biased input data. Maybe Google should appopint a council to have oversight of the composition of AI ethics council ... though they'd be advised to have another council to keep a check on that.

  10. conel

    Fact?

    The author claims that "the controversy centred on the fact that James has repeatedly expressed transphobic views". Surely there must be some very strong evidence to claim this as a fact. I mean, it's not simply that some loonies have called her transphobic on twitter, is it?

    Of course, it is and this is one of her "transphobic" statements "If they can change the definition of women to include men, they can erase efforts to empower women economically, socially, and politically.”

    The left really has gone bat shit crazy when they're going after a black woman because she's opposed to having people with penises in women's bathrooms and sports teams. It's kind of funny and the ideology will inevitably eat itself alive, but it's disturbing to think how much damage they might do first.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Fact? Check!

      "I am appalled that someone who is so wrong about so many things concerning human and civil rights may be given even more credibility and influence than she already enjoys, by advising such an important company on such a crucial topic like the ethics of AI,"

      From a person who is " radically re-engineering or re-ontologizing the infosphere.". Or at least one large part of it, or it's gate-keeping / fact-checking portion. And the UK's announced it's going to regulate information providers to ensure that only the truthiest, not flakiest factlets get consumed by the masses. Which for Google means some form of 'AI' because moderating individually may be subject to natural confirmation biases.

      Obviously moderating Google's AI efforts will be entirely unbiased, and balanced, as this announcement shows. Googler's just won't tolerate intolerance, and will not compromise on hate!

      (And if Google's AI does a spot of climate model reanalysis, or compares past predictions to past climate performance, the ethics panel will ensure the 'correct' answer is presented.)

  11. Keven E

    It's been said

    For those that haven't seen this one... just so we don't repeat repeating ourselves...

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2019/04/02/google_employees_protest_again/

    The s**t just hit the fan... cuz they threw it right at it!

  12. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Cowardly option

    The diverse ethics panel was the correct idea from the start. The proper use of AI is really an ethical decision not a technical one. There are numerous scenarios were the correct ethical action is not inherent obvious and a decision must be made immediately. To get a grip on these issues one needs to consider a variety opinions, scenarios, etc. that do not have obvious and easy answers. So a panel that is relatively broad spectrum of opinions is more likely not to suffer from group-think (a real problem) and might hammer out workable guidance. And this guidance, while probably imperfect, would at least consider many viewpoints not one and probably give one the best ethical option in the vast majority of cases. This is better than trying to wing it while deploying AI.

    In canning the panel Google took the cowardly option.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cowardly option

      Google have always taken the cowardly option. The NSA comes to violate the constitutional rights of every American, they say yes. China insists on a search engine which can be controlled, they say yes. This becomes public and they back down, moving Dragon into a dark place.

      Their motto has changed from “Do no evil” to “Do nothing that requires any courage at all”.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Cowardly option

        Not to claim the mantel of anything but a coward for myself, I have noticed to truly do the ethically or morally correct action often takes real courage. Often the mob is whipped up by slimes of all types who are only interested in their personal power; political affiliation, orientation, etc. is irrelevant. To stand up to these slimes, often requires one to go against the perceived popular opinion of the day and be hopefully only slurred (some have been murdered for standing up to the mob throughout history). That blinding yellow flash you see is my cowardly backside.

      2. toughluck

        Re: Cowardly option

        "Do no evil" is passive. It simply requires that you refrain from taking a stand on any topic that might alienate some of your customers. You might not do any good this way, but hey, at least you didn't do evil.

        "Do good" would require them actively do something that requires courage and might cause them to lose some revenue.

        The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never underesitmate

    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." ― George Carlin

    If you ever want to experience phenomenon this first hand, spend a couple weeks on jury duty.

  14. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Well done, Google Workers' Soviet.

  15. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    IF you can't figure out how to do AI ethically...

    If Google can't figure out a way to do AI research ethically, then maybe they shouldn't be trying to cram AI into situations with ethical ramifications...

    But then Google seems to not understand the concept that just because you -can- do something doesn't mean that you -should- do something.

  16. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    what is a thoguht ???

    And yes, i know there's a place to request corrections. I just can't be arsed.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: what is a thoguht ???

      A cold soothing milk based product you might request when you’ve got a very sore tongue.

  17. hatti

    An ethics board surely would need a spread of opinions to be fully representative, not just cosy viewpoints that has the board reaching for their teddies else the whole process of selecting an ethics board would be entirely impossible.

  18. ecofeco Silver badge

    Heritage Foundation

    It's apparent many of you here are not familiar with The Heritage Foundation.

    They had and still have very big hand in the current state of the U.S. They literally helped create it. The are as far right as it gets.

    They are the problem, not some "opposing view that needs to be respected." So hell yes it was right complain about their representative.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heritage Foundation

      ^^^ This! Thank you! I tried to express that same thought the other day, in the related article, and you've just done so far more succinctly.

  19. DavCrav Silver badge

    What I'm still trying to work out is why being transphobic, even if this person is, should be of a concern in an AI ethics situation? Is there a suggested solution to the trolley problem that involves only running over trans people?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      That should be obvious

      Google create an AI with a tenet that Register Commentards aren't people.

      Suddenly, you and I cannot access any Google services.

      You and I cannot find comments by other commentards.

      It's almost like El Reg commentardery no longer exists, and we feel isolated.

      Now, replace "Commentard" with transgender and read the above again.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: That should be obvious

        I didn't really know we had transgenders here at the Register? And why would they only single out Register transgenders? Seems like an oddly specific target demographic.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: That should be obvious

        "Google create an AI with a tenet that Register Commentards aren't people."

        But even transphobic people reckon trans people are still people, right? And 'transphobic' apparently means anything not totally pro-trans doing whatever they want to some people. I see there is a balance between 'women's rights' and 'trans rights', and complete self-identification with no controls at all will erode women's rights.

        If you decide that men cannot just declare themselves to be women for the day in order to gain some advantage, then you agree there needs to be some sort of controls on this. Some people already claim that's transphobic. But now you decide there must be some sort of control, the question becomes what kind.

        Should people be able to change their gender every hour as and when it suits them? No. Should people never be able to change their gender? No. Where exactly is the 'correct' position between those two extremes? Is there a correct position? Possibly not. But this sort of nuanced question is useless in today's society of Twitter rants and death threats.

  20. toughluck

    So the only reason they wanted an ethics board was to rubber stamp notions and attitudes that they already decided upon and making the group diverse was a good idea because they would claim there's no bias.

    And the only thing they achieved is that they showed that they are indeed biased against a certain set of opinions or beliefs that are shared by a large portion of the population (up to roughly half), thus losing any legitimacy?

    Foot, meet mouth.

  21. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Angel

    Google needs an ethics committee

    to come up with a new definition of "evil" that doesnt resemble their operating policies

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Google needs an ethics committee

      I'm not sure how far they'll get with that.

      They had to shut down the first panel because one of them was opposed to redefining the word "women" to include penis owners.

  22. ATeal

    FFS you'll find a reason to hate anyone if you look close enough

    I don't see why this board had to have public names (beyond the "about us" page on some site somewhere) - I wouldn't want a board active on twitter, you'd want people who knew their shit and were fit to consider the arguments watching what goes on through the various projects in various offices.

    The personal politics of members /may/ give them a stance when it comes to (a guess, and for example) "should we write software (naturally using AI and maybe blockchain - or something we can call either/both) to better manage those jail things for immigrants?" should that kind of stuff come up, but that's kind of the point of them! To walk the line between what's okay and what's not.

    It's (urgh this isn't going to look good) animal testing. There was some lipstick example which wasn't and caused great harm to humans, after that stuff was (since we now know what stuff does the need for it has rather died down) - that has always been a balancing act between "is the knowledge gain truly something we cannot learn any other way?", "to what level of harm and for how long are animals exposed?" and so on - you don't want a group that go "never" to every answer, you want a mix and an "open" (to some extent) group that can see the points and give ground as needed.

    For better or worse you need someone who can see (for better or worse) lipstick and the market for it is .... beyond their scope (dare I say) and so on.

    As a "for worse" side, if you have a board that never yields in either direction you can end up with what dogs have endured at the hands of cigarette companies for decades, so they can fudge the evidence in that case. For better or worse lipstick was going to stay, there were dangers to humans and animal testing and cosmetics has a fairly good history believe it or not (which is why it's textbook).

    Today's "no animal testing" cosmetic industry is only here because of animal testing to work out what was safe or unsafe and what could or couldn't be used, the premium a brand could charge for this (in the earlier days) offset the extra they'd pay for not using cheaper and newer ingredients and so on.

    The situation is somewhat similar. For better or worse, like cosmetics, Google are here to stay, an ethics board must fight between both sides, otherwise be discarded unfortunately - again this may suck, but the situation is what it is and at least in the next few years isn't going to change.

  23. Timmy B Silver badge

    Sigh....

    The most un-inclusive people are shown to be the ones that say they are the most inclusive. They want diversity of opinion - providing that diversity is in a very, very narrow band and really all this shows is one of three things: 1) The complainers are scared. 2) The complainers are lazy . 3) The complainers are stupid. They are either too scared of opposing views to hear them or too lazy to counter them or too stupid to argue against them. I suspect a mix of the three. A moron melange if you will.

  24. cd

    Why not let AI choose the members?

    Or use AI members, since it's obvious they didn't get representation on the board.

    Unless you count the amoral founders.

  25. ricegf

    "Oppose immigration"?

    She doesn't "oppose immigration". She opposes immigration that violates immigration law - like pretty much every other country on the planet. Orwellian newspeak is a poor substitute for rational debate.

  26. Timmy B Silver badge

    Word of the day.... thoguht

    "Bryson had said she thoguht she could do some good by being on the board, and reiterated this idea today:"

    Thoguht : NOUN

    Thinking or thoughts bearing the same consistency as yogurt*.

    *Not the set French kind.....

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: Word of the day.... thoguht

      your mental processes before your first cup of covfefe

  27. rzrjck

    Well... transophobia (even if by many considered as something bad), or negating climate change or immigration, is another point of view as well.... why you don't want to accept it? because it's different of yours....

    so what was the point of creating of 'broad spectrum' board ?

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