In this episode of Beneficial Intelligence, I discuss doing the right thing. Google started out with a motto of "Don't be evil," but that has fallen by the wayside. Occasionally, employees remind Google of the old motto as when they forced Google to stop working on AI for the Pentagon. But they don't seem terribly committed, and their highly touted Ethical AI Team is falling apart after they fired the head researcher.
Amazon never promised not to be evil, and they are forcing their delivery drivers to do 10-hour graveyard shifts starting before sunrise and going until mid-day. They are trying to avoid tired drivers causing accidents by installing cameras and AI in the vans so the computer can detect when the worker is falling asleep behind the wheel and can wake him up.
Consulting giant McKinsey don't consider themselves evil either. They are just good at increasing profits for companies. While they claim no wrongdoing, they just settled a lawsuit paying $600 million for the advice they gave Purdue Pharma about aggressively encouraging doctors to over-prescribe opioids.
As a CIO, you're engaged in a war for talent. But you also need to meet your budget, implement hot new technologies like AI and maintain IT security. There is always an opportunity to cut a corner, roll out inadequately tested technology, or squeeze employees so you can hit your goals this quarter. But if you want to be able to attract and keep top IT talent, you need to do the right thing.
Beneficial Intelligence is a weekly podcast with stories and pragmatic advice for CIOs and other IT leaders. To get in touch, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org