Margaret Mitchell, head of Ethical AI at Google said she was fired. Within just 2 months, Google fired both people leading this group.
Mitchell said she was fired by email on the afternoon of Feb. 19, news began to spread when she tweeted “I’m fired” on Twitter.
Follow Wired, A Google spokesperson said Mitchell has shared “confidential documents and private employee data” outside the company. Google locked Mitchell’s employee account after discovering the suspicious behavior, she used this account to find documents related to the time Timnit Gebru was working, separated and shared with outside.
Margaret Mitchell, head of Ethical AI at Google. Photo: Venture Beat.
In December 2020, Timnit Gebru, who co-led the Ethical AI team with Mitchell, left Google. Gebru was fired for refusing to withdraw from a study that pointed to inequalities in AI facial recognition algorithms between whites and people of color.
Google had a lot of staffing problems after Timnit Gebru left. Photo: The Verge.
Gebru, Mitchell and the Ethical AI team have made prominent contributions to recent AI studies to understand and overcome the flip side of artificial intelligence. They also contribute suggestions to Google leadership to remove some AI services like sex determination through photos.
Restructuring after internal stress
The departure of two top researchers has drawn attention to internal tensions within Google. After Gebru’s departure, the rest of the team members’ morale gradually deteriorated, more than 2,600 Google employees signed a letter to protest against the company, the Ethical team also sent a mail asking to bring Gebru back. leadership. Google had to step up its personnel activities to resolve the crisis.
Marian Croak, Google’s vice president of engineering, will take over as the upcoming Ethical AI team leader. Photo: Business Insider.
On Feb. 18, Google announced that Marian Croak, the company’s vice president of engineering, would take over as the Ethical AI team leader. In the video and blog post, Croak said she was looking forward to more reconciliation when looking at AI’s ethical issues as this is a new field. At the same time, she said the current disagreements and conflicts can cause polarization within the industry, hoping to work together to develop together.
As planned, Google will evaluate AI systems that have been deployed or in development, and then work with partners and support to minimize potential harm.
In an internal announcement, Dean said the company will review the research publishing process and ask management to improve employee diversity within the company. In addition, Dean admits Gebru’s departure has made employees skeptical of his future, while perhaps creating a barrier for black researchers to enter the AI industry.
“I understand that we could and should have handled the situation more skillfully. I’m sorry, “Dean wrote.
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