Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Google engineers leave company following controversial exit of top AI ethicist

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Timnit Gebru co-led Google’s ethical artificial intelligence team until its controversial release. Gebru said she was fired after sending an email to the company’s internal “Brain Women and Allies” list. In a report trying to get to the bottom of what happened MIT Technology Journal said Gebru’s departure was the result of a dispute over an article she co-wrote. The paper discussed issues related to linguistic AI training, including its environmental impact and potential disadvantage for marginalized groups.

Google AI chief Jeff Dean is said to have told colleagues in an internal email that the newspaper “did not meet [the company’s] publication bar. Gebru apparently pushed back orders to do the research and told the tech giant she would step down if her conditions weren’t met. She wrote on Twitter that Google didn’t agree to her terms and accepted her resignation, terminating her employment much earlier than the date she specified and even before she returned from vacation.

As for Curley, she was a diversity recruiter who said she was fired for calling Google “on [its] racist bullshit. Gebru and Curley are both black women. Google said The edge he does not agree with the “way April describes her dismissal, but it is not appropriate for [the company] to comment on his statements. “

Gebru’s exit sparked an uproar, prompting thousands of Googlers, as well as supporters from academia, industry and civil society to sign a letter call on Google Research “to strengthen its commitment to research integrity and to make an unequivocal commitment to supporting research that respects the commitments made in Google’s AI principles.” The Google Ethics AI team also required the dismissal of Megan Kacholia, vice president of engineering at Google, and the reinstatement of Gebru in a senior position. Google CEO Sundar Pichai excuse for how the company handled his departure in an internal email and pledged to investigate what happened to “identify any points where [the company] can learn. “


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