Politics doesn’t seem like something one would find in the technical arena. However, as Google has recently proven, politics are everywhere. Google has announced an external advisory council to help responsibly advance the development of AI. This has come in response to conversations on the ethics of artificial intelligence. The broader scope includes technology as a whole, and social media in specifics.
Accusations have led to discussions on the bias of social media outlets towards hostile conservative viewpoints. As websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google are where individuals garner much of their information and form diverse opinions, bias of any nature is cause for concern.
Many have called for censorship in social media. Facebook has been particularly discussed. The public is understandably concerned when atrocities, such as the gunman in New Zealand, are repeatedly committed via live-stream. In response, Facebook has banned posts regarding white nationalism and separatism on its platform.
Facebook has taken a stance against anti-vaxxers as well. Their viewpoints and opinions might be misguided, the challenge remains a freedom of speech, to form an individual’s own opinions, that is still well within legal rights.
Along with ‘conspiracy theories’, these few examples are a drop in an ocean of political ideologies, opinionated postings, and outright atrocious behavior. Thus, the ethical pursuit of AI development. No one organization can police the world wide web. Yet, there are politics in this as well.
The dilemma with ethical AI development is that it is developed by people. People who have their own viewpoints, opinions, and thoughts. There will need to be checks and balances in each part of the development and programming stage to ensure that personal opinions wouldn’t color the technology. The introduction of the ethical committee for the development of AI should be able to keep the technology uniform, and unbiased in its development.
As a people, society is walking a thin line on social media. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Political reasoning, fairness, and the point in which opinions cross the line has caused alarming concerns in the general populace, as well it should. There comes a point where it is no longer up to commercial giants to regulate content, but to people as a whole. As society grows and learns in this technological era, the need to keep an open discussion of potential ramifications is paramount.