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Alphabet, Microsoft Warn of Turbulence on Path to Selling AI

Alphabet’s campaign to infuse many of its products with artificial intelligence software could bring “ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges,” the company said in the “Risk Factors” part of its annual report for 2018, filed with the SEC last week, which was first spotted by Wired. Microsoft, in its annual report in August, gave a similar warning about its AI software.  

It’s possible this language is cropping up now because Alphabet and Microsoft both saw a backlash from employees last year over selling AI to law enforcement and military agencies, causing the companies to change or clarify their policies on selling the technology. Other companies like Amazon and Facebook, which have also dealt with AI-related controversies, haven’t yet warned their investors of AI-related pitfalls, but it’s probably just a matter of time before they follow suit. 

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