Giles Turner and Mark Bergen, reporting for Bloomberg*:
The co-founder of DeepMind, the high-profile artificial
intelligence lab owned by Google, has been placed on leave after
controversy over some of the projects he led.
Mustafa Suleyman runs DeepMind’s “applied” division, which seeks
practical uses for the lab’s research in health, energy and other
fields. Suleyman is also a key public face for DeepMind, speaking
to officials and at events about the promise of AI and the ethical
guardrails needed to limit malicious use of the technology.
“Mustafa is taking time out right now after 10 hectic years,” a
DeepMind spokeswoman said. She didn’t say why he was put on leave.
Probably not a good sign.
* Bloomberg, of course, is the publication that published “The Big Hack” last October — a sensational story alleging that data centers of Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies were compromised by China’s intelligence services. The story presented no confirmable evidence at all, was vehemently denied by all companies involved, has not been confirmed by a single other publication (despite much effort to do so), and has been largely discredited by one of Bloomberg’s own sources. By all appearances “The Big Hack” was complete bullshit. Yet Bloomberg has issued no correction or retraction, and seemingly hopes we’ll all just forget about it. I say we do not just forget about it. Bloomberg’s institutional credibility is severely damaged, and everything they publish should be treated with skepticism until they retract the story or provide evidence that it was true.
★ Wednesday, 21 August 2019