Google announced the formation of a global council on technology ethics this week to some deserved trepidation.
Sure, the company had amassed some highly qualified individuals to fill seats on this board—but Google’s track record of following its own internal ethics codes is less than spotless.
What provoked the most outrage, however, was the appointment of Kay Coles James to the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council, a former lackey in the George W. Bush administration and the current president of the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.
This is unacceptable.” The letter’s undersigned demand her immediate removal from the board.
Google’s recent forays into a Pentagon drone AI programme and a censored Chinese search engine make this latest misstep all the more predictable: Google has grown to such a size that its only options for continued expansion seem to include the undermining of its foundational values.
In the case of Project Maven, the aforementioned Pentagon programme, as well as arbitration agreements which were previously baked into employee contracts, worker backlash generated tangible results.