Jun 17, 2021

danah boyd Questions Whether ‘Ethical AI’ Can Co-Exist with Capitalism

From Venture Beat

Ethical AI will not see broad adoption by 2030, study suggests

By Kyle Wiggers

According to a new report released by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imaging the Internet Center, experts doubt that ethical AI design will be broadly adopted within the next decade. In a survey of 602 technology innovators, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists, a majority worried that the evolution of AI by 2030 will continue to be primarily focused on optimizing profits and social control and that stakeholders will struggle to achieve a consensus about ethics...

“These systems are … primarily being built within the context of late-stage capitalism, which fetishizes efficiency, scale, and automation,” danah boyd, a principal researcher at Microsoft, told Pew and Elon University. “A truly ethical stance on AI requires us to focus on augmentation, localized context, and inclusion, three goals that are antithetical to the values justified by late-stage capitalism. We cannot meaningfully talk about ethical AI until we can call into question the logics of late-stage capitalism.”


danah body is a Ph.D. program alumna (2008), partner researcher at Microsoft Research, and the founder of Data & Society.

Last updated:

June 21, 2021