Some Google workers want Google to remove conservative Kay Coles James from an artificial intelligence ethics panel


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A campaign has been launched by a group of Google workers to remove a conservative off its recently-established artificial intelligence ethics advisory panel.

The group of Google workers identifying itself as “Googlers Against Transphobia” published a petition on the internet calling for the removal of the Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James from Google’s artificial intelligence ethics advisory panel.

The “Googlers Against Transphobia” group believes James should be removed from the council due to her “anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-immigrant” beliefs.

The group states that “In selecting James, Google is making clear that its version of ‘ethics’ values proximity to power over the wellbeing of trans people, other LGBTQ people and immigrants.”

They suggest that if James continues to be on the panel discrimination against marginalized groups will be implanted into the company’s artificial intelligence software:

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“From AI that doesn’t recognize trans people, doesn’t ‘hear’ more feminine voices and doesn’t ‘see’ women of color, to AI used to enhance police surveillance, profile immigrants and automate weapons — those who are most marginalized are most at risk.”

Kay was appointed to give a conservative voice to what is arguably a progressive-leaning artificial intelligence ethics advisory panel. The panel was created to give Google external advice and input as it continues to develop Artificial Intelligence. Kent Walker, SVP of Global Affairs at Google said in a blog post that the new AI council “will consider some of Google's most complex challenges that arise under our AI Principles, like facial recognition and fairness in machine learning, providing diverse perspectives to inform our work.'

Kay Coles James is a very important voice on the AI Council as she is an advocate for freedom of speech and believes in privacy. If the Silicon Valley giant gives in to this group and removes James from the panel, it will be another example of their shift towards censorship of certain ideas.

James is a highly respected African-American conservative woman that has served in the presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Additionally, she was also appointed as a senior adviser on the Trump presidential transition team. Currently, she is the president of the Heritage Foundation which is a conservative think-tank which took a lead role in the conservative movement during Ronald Regan’s presidency.

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Nicholas Becker
Nicholas Becker contributes and reports on politically-focussed features and news for Reclaim and is an advocate for online privacy from Hobart, Australia. [email protected]