Re: Ethics and Corruption
"What if funding were established through a double-blind mechanism where the funding source and the researchers were shielded from each other? Could that be a way to make it work?"
Unfortunately that makes it very difficult to find out whether the funders were 'getting value for money'. In effect, in many countries' research by universities and other organisations is publicly funded from taxation, directed by semi-independent organisations (such as the UK's former 'Research Councils') or by dedicated research institutions (such as the Wellcome Trust).
Ethically there is no reason why 'Big Tech' (or 'Big Corp' for that matter) should not fund their own research into ethics, or anything else. The issue is whether they try to influence the direction of the research or the published results, as the tobacco industry did, and the polluting climate changer deniers are, while claiming it as 'independent' science. Much of the research in biology on new drugs is not published as the results are either inconclusive, or do not fit with the sponsor's desire for a profitable, marketable product. There was a campaign a while ago to get every drug trial registered before it started with a requirement that the results be published, irrespective of outcome, but I don't think it came to anything.
On the bright side, at the 'Big Tech' is aware they have to do something about 'Ethics' in AI, I just wish they had done ethics for 'Big Corp' first.