Apple CEO Tim Cook has been articulate and sincere of late on the topic of ethics and human rights. (See for example, his interview with CNNMoney’s Laurie Segall). In this interview he makes reference to Steve Job’s vision embedded, he says, in Apple’s DNA — a focus on humanity, changing the world to make it a better place. It is “…what we do when we get up in the morning…the North Star of the company…what Apple has always been about, and that is giving the power from the institution to the user…I don’t subscribe to the “machines taking over the world”…I don’t worry about that, I worry much more about people thinking like machines…about forgetting about humanity.” We have “…a broader obligation to society.”
As of June 25, 2018 only three Apple employees have signed, including Tom Gruber, co-founder of SIRI.
Mr. Cook, sign the Asilomar Principles. Follow through on your principled statement. Take a leadership stand on our artificial intelligence future. Apple is investing billions in AI, by all reports. Invest in humanity’s best interests in the AI future. Acknowledge the potential for, if not likely conflict of interest with Apple’s best interests. Be accountable. Start by signing the Asilomar Principles and then articulate Apple’s code of accountability.
Apple has a broader obligation to society.