The Game is on!
AI ethics start with company and investor ethics. Investors are scrambling right now to control the vast wealth and power that will be generated from artificial intelligence and related technologies. This game is being played out worldwide between multinational companies, governments, and wealthy stakeholders. The stakes are high and the pressure to find ways to exploit the system have never been greater.
The game has been hacked and here’s how they are doing it
These exploits are offered as insights into the methods of the AI tech moguls and investors. Much of this will look familiar to those who have been around technology industries, with AI just being the latest incarnation. First understand, Tech is not some entity you can bargain with. At its core are networks of powerful people who want to profit from their investments. They are immune to any individual member arguing against them maximizing their wealth and, perhaps more important to them, their power. Commitments to AI ethics and social benefits are merely the guise used to deflect our attention from what the AI exploiters are really after. Working in the AI industry has it rewards, but may come with ethical compromise. Here are some of the warning signs to look for and hold your employer and their investors accountable for.
Gain the lion’s share of top programming talent and manipulate the pipeline of new talent to feed your needs or to detract from competitors needs
-Buy the top talent at any cost to keep them away from competitors.
-Eviscerate academic programs by hiring or co-opting top research and teaching staff . Promote your own organization as the only place to learn and develop critical skills.
-Divert socially conscious developers into “AI for Good” organizations, but direct and own their work product while keeping this talent out of the hands of your competitors.
Promise everything and deliver nothing to the development staff
-Downplay employment candidates skills and low ball salary offers in exchange for “better career opportunities”.
-Provide soft benefits of little real value and advertise your company as the “best” place to work.
-Keep the organization in a constant state of change through management decree, reorganization, and management turnover so as to dilute or invalidate management commitments to employees.
-Allow a modicum of employee dissent on social issues to provide a facade of participation.
-Pay lip service to employee rights to organize, but derail the careers of the instigators.
-Use arbitration in employment agreements as a first barrier to discourage employee lawsuits.
-Intimidate employees by vigorously and publicly defending selected employment related lawsuits. Secretly settle and payoff particularly troublesome plaintiffs to avoid public disclosure.
-Utilize contract workers to undercut pay rates and destabilize the job security of contractors and employees alike.
-Over commit individual developers and teams so there will always be a chance of failure motivating them.
-Don’t identify any individual baseline performance metrics and maintain broad deliverables for developer work. Make achievement a group or company target beyond the ability of any individual or team to achieve. Move the goal posts frequently.
-Neutralize any real power company founders may have, but also elevate them to rock star status and position them as examples of the success that playing the game brings.
-Occasionally single out a developer or small team to provide extraordinary stock and cash bonuses to. Be sure to leak the details so as to give everyone a false hope that they may receive a similar payout someday.
Maintain absolute control of the intellectual property
-Entice your developers to maintain strict confidentiality through the use of financial incentives that require long term commitments with vague payouts and ever-changing payout dates.
-Reserve intellectual property rights in employment contracts with overly broad language benefiting the company.
-Create legal prisons to keep your developers tied to your organization through copyright, patent and other intellectual property protection mechanisms. Enforce these mechanisms zealously and publicly to dissuade anyone from attempting to steal your secrets.
-Hold key intellectual property under strategically chosen entities or partnerships to provide maximum ability to transfer or license the essential components of the property without liability or ownership challenges.
-Develop a reputation for aggressively enforcing intellectual property rights through high profile lawsuits.
Organize and manage the company to maintain secrecy and avoid accountability
-Keep the management and investor/board relationships hidden from the rank and file to prevent them from being informed enough to challenge anything.
-Use tiered investment entities and complicated investor preferences to shield the identity of the true value holders and their agendas.
-Churn investment entities regularly to shed liability and accountability.
–Break up the development of key components through the use of related and unrelated entities.
-Shuffle staff regularly to prevent anyone, but senior management, from having a complete picture of the technology ownership stack.
Create a marketing campaign to sensationalize only positive uses of AI tech and downplay negative applications and the social and economic risks.
-Minimize detrimental aspects of the technology as preliminary development with improvements to come.
-Tell the world you embrace AI Ethics, repeat ad nauseam.
-Give developers constant reinforcement that they are changing the world for good and block any discussion of potential negative consequences.
-Develop military, secrecy intrusive, socially manipulative, and economically destabilizing type applications under the guise of more socially conscious and benign uses.
-Conceal plans to subvert previously developed “good” applications in the future when it will be even more lucrative to exploit the technology.
Co-opt elected officials, thwart regulators, and control the narrative
-Devote a significant budget to influence government affairs through campaign donations, opposition research, and lobbying.
-Maintain a revolving door of industry insiders into government positions with influence over the industry and back into industry executive ranks.
-Use media relations staff, public influence consultants, social media manipulators and media company acquisitions to steer a positive perception of your AI Ethics and obscure the negative aspects of your wealth making agenda.
-Invest in multiple companies and promote the appearance of a competitive industry to avoid scrutiny by anti-trust regulators.
-Use international entities in less regulated countries to establish beachheads for technologies that are not viewed favorably domestically.
-Position your technology as crucial for national security and fan the flames of the technology race with real and imaginary adversaries.
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