Google dissolved and disbanded its artificial intelligence ethics advisory board, just a week or so after its creation.
Why? In brief: Heritage Foundation.
In brief, the LGBTQ movement couldn’t stand the thought of a conservative on the council, so the LGBTQ movement did what it always does: It cried and petitioned and unleashed a public relations attack for the conservative voice to be silenced.
And Google, in response, just shuttered the whole council.
At issue was the inclusion of Heritage’s President Kay Coles James on the board. She’s a conservative with limited government views and traditional family values, and has spoken publicly about the problems with the LGBTQ movement, about the ridiculousness of some climate change issues — about things that counter the liberal lines. And some of the other board members, as well as outside members of the LGBTQ community, couldn’t stand that.
What a shame. What a missed opportunity for the exchange of differing views and ideas.
The Advanced Technology External Advisory Council, ATEAC, included a diverse selection of technology experts, artificial intelligence scientists, scholars and policy types, all tasked with a mission of ensuring Google’s A.I. division wasn’t violating its set of A.I. Principles, the ones created by CEO Sundar Pichai. It seemed a real opportunity to hear from diverse people with diverse views.
But diversity, to liberals, does not extend to conservatives.
Roughly 2,400 Google employees signed on to a posted petition on Medium that demanded James’ removal from the council.
“Published Monday by a group of employees calling itself Googlers Against Transphobia,” CNN reported, “the post said that by adding James to the group, Google was ‘making clear that its version of “ethics” [places value on the] proximity to power over the wellbeing of trans people, other LGBTQ people and immigrants.’ “
So Google dissolved the council.
Google told CNN Business it’s “become clear that in the current environment,” ATEAC “can’t function” as intended, “so we’re ending the council and going back to the drawing board.”
What a win for the LGBTQ movement.
But everybody else loses.
This ethics board was an opportunity for liberals and conservatives and all those in between to come together and trade views and ideas about a key theme of today’s technology movement — that is, how to keep humanity front and center in a fast-moving field of machine and computer development.
You’d think it only natural to include a conservative view. You’d think it advantageous to include a conservative view.
But this shuttering only shows once again how intolerant the liberal world is to divergent views. But here’s a thought for the short-term thinkers of the LGBTQ movement and the hard-left: Shutting down conservative speech does not make conservatives go away.
It really only gives them a good shot of righteous anger that fuels their cause even further, that makes their arguments even stronger.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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