Why is Paula Goldman joining Salesforce?

Amidst the copious rumours that tech giants in Silicon Valley are misusing artificial intelligence, Salesforce has created a new Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology. 

The brand-new department will be led by Paula Goldman, who was previously the Vice President of Omidyar Network and a well-respected member of the Salesforce Advisory Council.

U.S tech giant's problematic use of artificial intelligence

Several of America’s largest technology companies have been facing employee protests in the past year, including huge organisations like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Back in the summer of 2018, Google was at the centre of one of their most prolific controversies after thousands of employees penned a letter expressing their dismay over Project Maven. Project Maven involved creating artificial intelligence to monitor drone video footage, which would be used by the US Military in their efforts to counteract terrorism. Google employees warned bosses that carrying out this project will compromise everything the company stands for, writing in the letter “we believe that Google should not be in the business of war”The letter also reads “amid growing fears of biased and weaponized AI, Google is already struggling to keep the public’s trust”, before making the final point that going ahead with Project Maven will damage the company’s brand “irreparably”.
Paula Goldman Salesforce

Salesforce remain vigilant by thinking ahead

It could be argued that if Google had an Ethical and Humane Use officer on their team, the controversy arising from Project Maven would never have occured.

Clearly, Salesforce has observed the chaos happening around them and wisely decided to equip themselves with the likes of Paula Goldman and the new office she will be leading. Goldman has a passion for carrying out acts of social good within businesses and will be helping Salesforce to ‘develop and use products in a way that upholds the human rights of every individual’, according to the website of her new office.

What exactly will Paula Goldman's role entail?

The week starting Monday 7th January will mark Paula Goldman’s official first week at Salesforce, meaning that she is now one full week into her role. We don’t doubt that she will already be inundated with tasks, yet also brimming with ideas about how the company can uphold its exemplary reputation.

In a press release issued by Salesforce, they said Paula’s job is to “develop a strategic framework for the ethical and humane use of technology across Salesforce”.

More specifically, the purpose of her role is to monitor and tackle issues faced by Salesforce as technology develops and the potential grows for products to be used in unpredictable, or even dangerous, ways.

“We’re at an important inflection point as an industry, and I’m excited to work with this team to chart a path forward” Goldman told Salesforce on the day of her hire, adding that she has “long admired Salesforce as a leader in ethical business”.

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