If you read Jeff Bezos’s annual letter to shareholders, then you can get a pretty good idea of his personality, character, and values. I once met him and came away with that impression: he is ambitious, smart, competitive, extraordinarily optimistic and good natured. He seems to have strong, positive values, and he loves to laugh. As CEO, he has always, emphatically put the customer at the center of Amazon’s mission, and I believe that he has done so for the right reasons.
Amazon is considered to be one of the leading investors in artificial intelligence. Mr. Bezos makes proud reference in the 2018 letter to shareholders to Amazon’s advances in AI. Yet, no one from Amazon — not one person! — has signed on to the Asolimar Principles.
Mr. Bezos, sign the Asilomar Principles. Take a leadership stand on our artificial intelligence future. Amazon 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 Amazon’s best interests. Be accountable. Start by signing the Asilomar Principles and then articulate Amazon’s code of accountability.
It should be so easy for a company that emphasizes its high standards. Amazon has a broader obligation to society.