Ethics

Pentagon watchdog clears Pat Shanahan on Boeing bias

In this image, Pat Shanahan speaks in front of a microphone and podium. The windows behind him look out onto an airport.
Pat Shanahan speaks at the grand opening of the Boeing 737 Delivery Center in 2015. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The Pentagon's inspector general announced Thursday that it found no evidence that acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan had favored Boeing, his former employer, during his time in government service, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The decision clears up a potential hurdle for President Trump in nominating Shanahan to permanently head the Department of Defense, though the WSJ reports that it "remains unclear what [the president] will do."

When the engineers meet the philosophers

Illustration of a robot arm holding a human skull à la Hamlet
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Get everyone in the room: That's the new mantra for AI researchers, nervous about the potential for their technology to decimate jobs and perpetuate human biases. They're pulling in experts from every academic background, including seemingly incompatible ones, to help steer the course.

Driving the news: But sparks flew last evening in a star-studded on-stage conversation between prominent AI researcher Fei-Fei Li and celebrity author–philosopher Yuval Noah Harari. Li, who is behind an enormous multidisciplinary project at Stanford to inject human values into AI research, often calls for closer collaboration between disciplines. But she and Harari were frequently at odds on stage.