Perry Accused Of Abusing His Office To Benefit His Wife's Business
Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced the creation of the Office for Artificial Intelligence within the Department of Energy on September 6, yet an ethics problem arises as his wife hold stock in at least three companies involved in AI and machine learning, according to Citizens For Ethics.
According to Perry’s 2019 personal financial disclosure, his wife, Anita Perry, holds stock in Verizon, AT&T, and Splunk, which totals between $17k and $80k.
Although Perry called for the abolition of the Department of Energy while campaigning for president in 2011, and has had a history of overseeing steep cuts to its budget, artificial intelligence attracted his attention and favor.
Perry has allocated $119 million in funding for AI in 2020 and hopes to “transform DOE into a world-leading AI enterprise by accelerating the research, development, delivery, and adoption of AI.”
It is unknown whether or not the companies that Perry’s wife invested in will directly benefit from the new AI office, but Verizon, AT&T, and Splunk have all made decisions to integrate AI technology as a part of their business models.