back to article DeepMind now has an ethics unit – which may have helped when it ate 1.6m NHS patient details

Google's controversial DeepMind has created an ethics unit to "explore and understand" the real-world impacts of Artificial Intelligence. The DeepMind Ethics & Society (DMES) group will be comprised of both full-time DeepMind employees and external fellows. It will be headed by technology consultant Sean Legassick and former …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Google and ethics

    Bwahahahahahahahaahaa! Who do they think will be impressed?

  2. RyokuMas

    "At DeepMind, we start from the premise that all AI applications should remain under meaningful human Google's control, and be used for socially beneficial purposes gathering the greatest volume of data possible. We'll buy our way out of any trouble later."


  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    AI tech company (sort of) accepts AI decisions --> Human consequences

    Which I suppose is very slightly ahead of where most politicians are on this.

    F**k me sideways.

    Let's see if it makes any material change to their behavior.

  4. inmypjs Silver badge

    "that all AI applications should remain...

    under meaningful human control, and be used for socially beneficial purposes"

    Google are on the bleeding edge of big data AI application because they see it as the best way they can further monetise the simply enormous amount of personal information they collect from everyone.

    The deductions AI could make from the huge amount of low quality data they collect are scary much scarier than the idea that computers and AI will become our masters. We need to be protected from google not AI.

    "socially beneficial" my arse.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "why is this not being developed [..] for the benefit of the people"

      Because there's not enough money to develop anything for the benefit of people who won't be paying for the service.

      The real question is why does NHS not have the expertise to do this in-house, to which the answer is obvious : not enough budget to retain staff that are competent enough.

      The day NHS has the budget to advertise for a Big Data technician with top qualifications that pays more than private industry is the day you are loudly complaining to your MP that healthcare is costing you way too much on your monthly salary.

      There's really no way out of this.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: How Far Is Progression On AI Doctors

      @ Shadmeister

      "A few questions from this - why isn't the NHS or another health service designing, implementing, testing developing etc., and AI doctor ?"

      The NHS isnt doing it because it wont work if they tried. This is a (dis)organisation that vacuums money for PR so it can just about keep some people believing it is the best health service in the world. Their technological capacity is somewhat amusing if you know someone on the inside (or even try to make an appointment).

      And while it might suck for us patients it must suck for the doctors and nurses inflicted with the monster.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. PhilBuk

          Re: How Far Is Progression On AI Doctors

          There was a recent article in El Reg:

          - about why this doesn't really work. One of the main reasons is that experts are really bad at explaining why they came to a particular decision. So, if your expert system training is no good - the system makes incorrect or low-confidence decisions - not something you would want for a medical diagnosis.


          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: How Far Is Progression On AI Doctors

      An AI GP is easy. Just a random number generator picking between three options "come back and see me if it doesn't get better", "it's a virus, go home and rest" or "call an ambulance".

      What we need is AI hospital receptionists, then we can eliminate GPs and get patients in front of competent health professionals (be they nurses, physios or specialist doctors).

  6. Anonymous Coward

    "explore and understand"

    For a legal department this might be a synonym for "learn to drive a coach and horses through". Call me cynical, but for an ethics unit like this, it could mean "shape the public debate". Whatever becomes the established consensus of what is or is not acceptable in the world of AI ethics is clearly something which could have a big effect on the future profitability of Google. So why wouldn't they want to set up some well funded big hitter that could nudge the goal posts in the direction that they want.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    climate change campaigner Christiana Figueres

    does she campaign _for_ climate change?

    didn't know that was needed

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: climate change campaigner Christiana Figueres

      Must be one of Trump's latest additions to the team.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh yeah, it's that county just north-east of London ....

  9. Mollie-Rose8

    Deepmind This is what Deepmind are up to... for your perusal.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like