Hermes EOS urges Alphabet to lead responsible AI practice

Corporate engagement provider Hermes EOS, part of Hermes Investment Management, has called on Alphabet – Google’s parent company – to strengthen board oversight in its use of artificial intelligence (AI).

“The power Alphabet possesses has never been greater, and its responsibilities have never been heavier,” said Dr Christine Chow, director of Hermes EOS.

“Investors are looking to the company and its Board to display leadership in the responsible use of AI and the minimisation of societal risks.”

London-based Hermes EOS clients have more than $5.7 billion (€5.1 billion) invested in the US-based conglomerate. It has urged Alphabet to lead the way in the responsible development and use of AI and set industry standards.

“There are clearly many areas of concern for investors with Alphabet’s use of artificial intelligence. While we have seen the company make progress in some areas, we encourage the board to be accountable for the responsible use of AI including its impact on society and establishing internal governance mechanisms,” said Dr Chow.

“If Alphabet cannot do it, with all the resources and intellectual capital at its disposal, investors will question whether any company can.”

Dr Chow is to speak at Alphabet’s annual meeting of stockholders regarding the establishment of an independent societal risk oversight committee of the board “to assess the potential societal consequences of the company’s products and services” that should “offer guidance on strategic decisions.”

©2019 funds europe

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