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Addiction-Related Ads Unbanned by Google After Nearly a Year-Long Ban

Rehab centre ads banned by Google for a year for a reason of not showcasing Addiction-related content; now unbanned

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Google removed ban from addiction-related ads. Pixabay

Google has allowed advertisements with addiction-related keywords and phrases to run on its platform US after nearly a year-long ban.

The ban was put in place to crack down on shady providers cashing in on vulnerable patients.

“A small group of providers vetted by a third party have been approved by the company to appear in results for searches like ‘help quitting pills’ or ‘meth addiction’,” TechCrunch reported late on Friday.

The ban on these advertisements was rolled out in phases in September 2017 and gradually went global in January this year.

Google objected showing addiction-related ads, so it Banned it, now unbanned. Pixabay
Google objected showing addiction-related ads, so it Banned it, now unbanned. Pixabay

The search engine giant had pledged to keep the ban in place until it could find a way to reintroduce the ads safely and ethically.

“It was provoked by a series of reports showing that people looking for help were being essentially traded like commodities and sent to incredibly expensive ‘addiction centres’ that often provided little recovery help at all,” the report added.

Also Read: Location Sharing in Google Maps Now Includes Battery Percentage

The tech giant partnered with a Portland-based company named LegitScript that specialises in verifying medicine-related businesses online.

It also decided to run rehab centre ads that were verified by LegitScript against addiction-related queries. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Believes That Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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The Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stressed that "international alignment will be critical to making global standards work" on AI. Wikimedia Commons

Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it.

Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it”.

“Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNET, the timing of the editorial coincides with a big push from Google to reveal some of the results of its own work in AI and bring tools it has developed out into the world.

The Alphabet CEO stressed that “international alignment will be critical to making global standards work” on AI.

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Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it. Wikimedia Commons

We need to take a “principled approach to applying AI, said the company, while offering Google’s “expertise, experience and tools.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.

His comments come as lawmakers and governments globally are considering to limit the use of AI in fields such as face recognition system – an issue close to Microsoft President Brad Smith’s heart who has often criticized the technology, urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” said Smith.

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned recently.

In his famous debate with former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Musk entered into a lassic argument over the capabilities of emerging technologies like AI.

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Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Sundar Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times. Pixabay

Musk said that computers will one day surpass humans in “every single way”. He has predicted that a single company that develops “God-like super intelligence” might achieve world domination.

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If not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans, the SpaceX CEO had warned. (IANS)