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Who Sits on the Board Behind Google DeepMind? No One Still Knows

Dec 07, 2016 05:24 AM EST
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It appears despite the benign nature of Google DeepMind and its AI projects, it still has secrets it wants to keep. DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman has been mum about the members of the group's mysterious AI ethics board. 

This is despite saying he wants to disclose it to the public.According to Medium, the question arrived when academics and media personnel have asked DeepMind and Google to reveal who sits on their ethics board.

According to Business Insider, the board was quietly created back in 2014 when Google acquired DeepMind. It was established to ensure that the self-thinking software DeepMind and Google are developing technologies that will remain safe for humanity.

In the recent TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, Suleyman said the need for the ethics board arises from the need to internally oversee their efforts. He added that it is no good to be "technologists" independent of social and political consequences. 

The closest hint was when he said there are partnerships with Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, and Google to look at how companies develop and share best practices with AI technology.

Suleyman said last year that he wanted to publish the names of the people onboard. He did add that these people are not entirely behind Google DeepMind, and it's just "one component of the whole apparatus."

But when asked this year, Suleyman just said "it's" going to be very focused on full general purpose learning system and decades away from the risks the board originally envisaged. 

Suleyman also said Google was building a team of academics, policy researchers, economists, and lawyers to tackle the issue. However, they only have three to four people focused on it. 

When asked what gave Google the right to choose who sits on the board without any oversight, Suleyman said this is exactly what he said to Larry Page (Google co-founder). As they are fundamentally a corporation, it's a question they all have to think about.

Meanwhile, the matter at hand was of an important scale given that a lot of technology leaders have concerns about where the technology DeepMind creates can be taking. For instance, according to the Guardian, Elon Musk invested on the project to ensure that AI will not go full-"Skynet" (from the Terminator films) on us. 

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