Google’s new AI ethics lead calls for more ‘diplomatic’ conversation

Marian Croak

Following months of inner conflict and opposition from Congress and thousands of Google employees, Google today announced that it will reorganize its AI ethics operations and place them in the hands of VP Marian Croak, who will lead a new responsible AI research and engineering center for expertise.

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An AI reporter’s favorite books of 2020

The older I get, the more I wish I could stop time so I could read more books. Books that earn my time and attention are those that promise to enrich me as a person and deepen my understanding of AI. This year, I read more than a dozen books, some published in recent months and others in years past, like The Curse of Bigness by Tim Wu, a great read for anyone interested in understanding antitrust, and the novel Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, one of my favorite books of all time.

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How to create space for ethics in AI

In a year that has seen decades’ worth of global shocks, bad news, and scandals squeezed into 12 excruciatingly long months, the summer already feels like a distant memory. In August 2020, the world was in the throes of a major social and racial justice movement, and I argued hopefully that the term “ethical AI” was finally starting to mean something. It was not the observation of a disinterested observer but an optimistic vision for coalescing the ethical AI community around notions of power, justice, and structural change. Yet in the intervening months it has proven to be, at best, an overly simplistic vision, and at worst, a naive one.

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How The Trevor Project uses AI to help LGBTQ+ youth and train its counselors

The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization focused on ending suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, is using artificial intelligence to better meet its mission. Over the past couple of years, the organization has used natural language processing (NLP) to expedite and improve its volunteer training and to triage incoming calls. The group’s AI team has dealt with common language issues in unique ways and is currently working to significantly expand its volunteer training capabilities and offer its services to more youth around the world.

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Escooter startup Voi uses AI to detect pedestrians and sidewalks

European electric scooter startup Voi is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to enable its vehicles to detect pedestrians and sidewalks, a move designed to ingratiate itself to municipalities worried about chaotic micromobility schemes.

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