Google Inc. (Alphabet Inc.) | Report on Generative AI Misinformation/Disinformation Risks

Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Digital rights
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved: Shareholders request the Board issue a report, at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary or legally privileged information, to be published within one year of the Annual Meeting and updated annually thereafter, assessing the risks to the Company’s operations and finances, and to public welfare, presented by the Company’s role in facilitating misinformation and disinformation generated, disseminated, and/or amplified via generative Artificial Intelligence; what steps the Company plans to take to remediate those harms; and how it will measure the effectiveness of such efforts.
Whereas clause
Whereas: Generative Artificial Intelligence (gAI) threatens to amplify misinformation and disinformation, as exemplified by reports about Bard, Gemini, and other Alphabet AI-driven products, including targeted ads, compromising human rights and democratic processes. This is of particular concern as 2024 will feature critical elections in the United States, India, Mexico, and Russia.
Eurasia Group ranked gAI the third highest political risk confronting the world, warning new technologies “will be a gift to autocrats bent on undermining democracy abroad and stifling dissent at home.”1 Some threats from gAI stem from its generation of inaccurate and invented information in text and images and its ability to accelerate their spread.2 Other threats come from gAI tools that enable precise ad targeting that could propagate disinformation among voters.3
Sam Altman, leading AI executive, said he is “particularly worried that these models could be used for large-scale disinformation.”4 The Information has noted that gAI drops “the cost of generating believable misinformation by several
orders of magnitude.”5 Environmental advocates warn that AI “threatens to amplify the types of climate disinformation that have plagued the social media era.”6 One study found Google’s Palm chat technology created misinformation “hallucinations” at a rate of 27 percent, the highest among AI systems tested.7 Members of the team developing Bard “openly debate the AI tool’s effectiveness and utility, with some questioning whether the enormous resources going into development are worth it.”8 Alphabet has invested an estimated $200 billion in AI over the last decade.9
While Alphabet publicly acknowledges the risks of AI and the need for reliable guardrails,10 it continues to “supercharge”11 gAI product development without addressing the existential threats posed by the technology, undermining Google’s established human rights commitments.12 Researchers at Princeton, Virginia Tech, and Stanford have found that the
guardrails many companies, including Alphabet, rely on to mitigate the risks “aren’t as sturdy as A.I. developers seem to believe.”13 Further, legal experts believe content generated by Alphabet’s own technology is unlikely to be shielded by Section 230 (Communications Decency Act), which has historically provided legal protection when third-party content is posted.
Shareholders are concerned that Alphabet incurs significant legal, financial, and reputational risks because of its rapid development and deployment of gAI products, absent parallel assessments of the threats they pose to the Company and society.

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