AI/machine learning controversy, incident & crisis database
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DateDescription
Tech/form
ObjectiveCause/triggerImpactNotes
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OperationalFinancialLegal/regulatoryReputational
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2019LinkedIn political espionageGAN
Political & commercial espionage recruitment (alleged)
US govt & AP Chinese espionage investigationsUnclearN/aUnclear, if any
Potential loss of US govt, LinkedIn trust, credibility
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-linkedin-china-espionage-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-accuses-china-of-super-aggressive-spy-campaign-on-linkedin-idUKKCN1LG16J
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2019
Mark Zuckerberg deepfake artwork/interview
GANExpose Facebook hypocrisyPerceived Facebook double standards
Review of Facebook misinformation policies
N/aUnclear, if anyLoss of credibility
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-48636456
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2019Yang Mi deepfake videosGANPromote AI Social media backlash re power of AI, abuse of privacyUnclearUnclear, if any
Led to Beijing banning face-swapping
Unclear
http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201904/22/WS5cbd15c4a3104842260b76c8.html
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2019Google AI ethics council
Review and advise Google AI projects
Accusations of 'ethicswashing'Dismantling of councilUnclearUnclear, if any
Employee backlash, loss of credibility
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/03/27/google_ai_ethics_panel/
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2019
Microsoft MS Celeb facial recognition database
Academic & commercial data sharing
Lack of consent, lack of transparency - FT investigation
Deletion of database, termination of project
UnclearUnclearLoss of trust
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jilliandonfro/2019/02/21/advertisers-boycott-youtube--and-if-history-is-a-guide-theyll-be-back-soon/#44328dd37a96
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/youtube-pedophile-videos-advertising
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2019YouTube child sexualisation
Automated recommendation system
Increase user engagement, revenue
Discovery of paedophilia ring by Matt Watson & folow-up WIRED report
Algorithm updateAdvertiser boycottUnclear
Abuse of privacy, loss of trust. Advertiser boycotts
https://theconversation.com/youtubes-paedophile-problem-is-only-a-small-part-of-the-internets-issue-with-child-sexual-abuse-94126
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2019Amazon Alexa kids version
Provide safe version of full Alexa product
Inability to delete childrens' voice conversations, abuse of privacy
UnclearUnclearLitigationLoss of trust
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-48623914
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2019
China bans travel for 'social credit' offences
Social control
AP coverage of National Public Credit Information Centre annual report
UnclearUnclearUnclear
External loss of credibility
https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-04-01/in-depth-chinas-burgeoning-social-credit-system-stirs-controversy-101399430.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System#Criticism
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/china-social-credit-system-punishments-rewards-explained-a8297486.html
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2019Amazon Rekognition facial recognitionImprove US govt law enforcement
MIT research study finds high racial & gender bias. Potential for unethical and/or intrusive use
UnclearUnclearUnclear
Employee & investor backlash, potential loss of trust
https://medium.com/@Joy.Buolamwini/response-racial-and-gender-bias-in-amazon-rekognition-commercial-ai-system-for-analyzing-faces-a289222eeced
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-48634676
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2019Facebook advertising discrimination
Improve ad micro-targetting/relevance
Discriminatory advertising (gender, race); ACLU, US govt lawsuits
Termination of product capability; Financial - La
Loss of sales
Compliance failure, litigation
Loss of credibility, trust
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-advertisers/u-s-charges-facebook-with-racial-discrimination-in-targeted-housing-ads-idUSKCN1R91E8
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2018Deepfakes porn video redditGAN
Malicious impersonation of porn stars, celebrities
Notoriety of content
Deepfakes creator banned on Reddit
Unclear, if anyUnclear, if any
Victim harrassment, abuse of privacy
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/31/scarlett-johansson-fake-ai-generated-sex-videos-nothing-can-stop-someone-cutting-pasting-my-image/
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2018
Barack Obama/Jordan Peel deepfake video
GANPromote AI risksBuzzfeed fake public service advertisementN/aN/aN/aN/a
https://www.businessinsider.com/obama-deepfake-video-insulting-trump-2018-4
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2018
Donald Trump deepfake Paris agreement video
GAN
Belgian political party sp.a environmental campaign
First known political AI ad, picked up by BuzzfeedUnclearN/aUnclear
Unclear impact on sp.a, Donald Trump
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/05/24/a-faked-video-of-donald-trump-points-to-a-worrying-future
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2018Donald Trump/Alex Baldwin spoofGANInsult Donald Trump, humourVideo quality led to widespread exposureUnclearN/aUnclear, if anyN/a
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/07/deepfake-ai-trump-impersonator-highlights-election-fake-news-threat.html
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2018Google Project Maven drone imaging
Strengthen US govt drone surveillance capabilities
Military drone footage automation controversyContract terminationUnclearUnclear, if any
Employee backlash, loss of trust, gig economy accusations
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/technology/google-project-maven-pentagon.html
https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/4/18211155/google-microworkers-maven-ai-train-pentagon-pay-salary
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2018Tyndaris Investments/42.cx loss dispute
Improve investment analysis & performance
Product quality and/or human oversellingUnclear
Unclear operational costs, litigation
Litigation
Loss of credibility, trust; first AI investment liability lawsuit
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-06/who-to-sue-when-a-robot-loses-your-fortune
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2018Uber self-driving car crashTest autonomous driving Product quality and/or human error
Termination of autonomous vehicle operators
Operational costs, litigation
LitigationLoss of credibility, trust
https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/5/18252423/uber-wont-be-charged-with-fatal-self-driving-crash-says-prosecutor
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2017
Google DeepMind/Royal Free NHS Streams app
AKI
Kidney disease monitoring & prediction
New Scientist article reveals full nature of deal
Contract replaced, more communications transparency
Unclear
UK ICO data privacy investigation
Loss of trust
https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2017/07/royal-free-google-deepmind-trial-failed-to-comply-with-data-protection-law/
http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/files.royalfree.nhs.uk/Reporting/Streams_Report.pdf
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2017FaceApp racism
Selfie app beautification & promotion
Hotness' filter skin whitening racist output
Effect renaming, product upgrade
UnclearUnclear, if anyLoss of credibility, trust
https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/25/faceapp-apologises-for-building-a-racist-ai/
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2017IBM Watson Health
IBM/MD Anderson cancer research partnership
Product quality, human oversellingPartnership suspensionsLoss of salesContract disputes
Loss of credibility, trust; raises questions about IBM Watson
https://gizmodo.com/why-everyone-is-hating-on-watson-including-the-people-w-1797510888
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2016Google search Holocaust denialSell advertising, increase revenueAlgorithm updateAlgorithm updateUnclear, if anyUnclear, if any
Loss of trust; raises questions re Google's power, inadequate moderation, etc
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/11/google-frames-shapes-and-distorts-how-we-see-world
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2016Microsoft Tay chatbotProduct developmentLack of context, racist & sexist output
Test termination, product overhaul
UnclearUnclear, if any
Ridicule, loss of credbility
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610634/microsofts-neo-nazi-sexbot-was-a-great-lesson-for-makers-of-ai-assistants/
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2016Pokemon Go pokestop racismARIncrease revenueUrban Institute research uncovers racial biasAlgorithm updateUnclearUnclear, if anyRidicule
https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/08/09/pokemon-go-racist-app-redlining-communities-color-racist-pokestops-gyms/87732734/
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2016
US criminal sentencing racist risk assessments
Provide more accurate risk scoresProPublica investigation uncovers racial and other biasUnclearUnclearUnclear
Sparks debate on public sector use of AI
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612775/algorithms-criminal-justice-ai/
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2015Google Photos image recognition racismImprove photo labelling/discoverySoftware engineer discovers racist output
Image label removed, algorithm update
UnclearUnclearRidicule, loss of trust
https://www.wired.com/story/when-it-comes-to-gorillas-google-photos-remains-blind/
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2015Amazon recruitment tool gender bias
Improve recruitment effectiveness & efficiencies
Gender bias, lack of transparency
Algorithm update; project later abandoned
UnclearUnclear
Loss of credibility; amplifies industry issue
https://www.cio.com/article/3314737/amazons-biased-ai-recruiting-tool-gets-scrapped.html
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