an intruiging tell wrt Google's approach to ethics, in this Google statement. "He is a software engineer, not an ethicist". In other words, the engineer should not worry about ethics, they've got ethicists on the payroll for that. Worrying about ethics is not the engineer's job. That perception means you yourself can stop thinking about ethics, it’s been allocated, and you can just ta

From the Guardian link:
"Lemoine, an engineer for Google’s responsible AI organization"

So you have an AI organization and a *responsible* AI organization? 🤔

Some time ago I noticed that in some AI award ceremony, there was a (special) category:
"AI for good", which I read as "AI is evil by default" 🤔

@ton So the big issue as I see it isn't that they had a software engineer doing AI ethics, but that they had a credulous idiot doing AI ethics. Shows how seriously Google takes ethics.

@ton google, because following orders and blind obedience turned out so well at Nuremberg... Incidentally, even if I do consider the engineer wrong, Fuck @google for the way its management thinks, acts, and conducts business.

@tychosoft @ton @google I expect that in this case the claims about sentience are a hoax, but it is indicative of how Google treats emerging ethics issues. That is, that they need to be appropriately ethics-washed by official Google appointees. Ordinary engineers can't do ethics, according to them.

@bob yeah, the case is irrelevant in my observation. It's that in their communications they let slip their ethics work is blue washing, that is concerning. Which chimes with earlier data points and a few ethicists I have known within Google.

@ton Yes — always keep in mind that as software engineer you are the last line of defense. If you implement it, it is in the world. Your decision whether to build something or not decides how the world changes — however small that might seem.

The ethicist should have the job to be there so software engineers can ask questions: “what will happen if we do it this way” (and receive answers) — but not “is it OK to do it this way?”

@ton @jalefkowit Interesting take from Google considering a bunch of VW engineers were prosecuted alongside decision makers over their emissions test dodging tech.

@ton @mistertim do they also forbid their staff to be a member of the ACM?

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