Google AI Researcher Says She Was Fired for Critical Views



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Google AI Researcher Says She Was Fired for Critical Views

A prominent Google artificial-intelligence researcher said she was fired over an email she authored expressing dismay with management and the way it handled a review of her research.

In a tweet, Timnit Gebru, 37, who is Black, claimed she was fired from Alphabet-owned Google for refusing to retract a research paper that said AI discriminates against darker-skinned people, and complained about the company in an email to colleagues.

She also criticized Google over its approach to hiring minorities and not doing enough to stamp out biases in AI systems. Gebru, a renowned scientist and one of the few Black women in the field of artificial intelligence, had been co-head of the team at Google examining the ethical ramifications of AI.

The email itself, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, began with “Hi friends,” and then proceeded

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A Prominent AI Ethics Researcher Says Google Fired Her

Before joining Google in 2018, Gebru worked with MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini on a project called Gender Shades that revealed face analysis technology from IBM and Microsoft was highly accurate for white men but highly inaccurate for Black women. It helped push US lawmakers and technologists to question and test the accuracy of face recognition on different demographics, and contributed to Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon announcing they would pause sales of the technology this year. Gebru also cofounded an influential conference called Black in AI that tries to increase the diversity of researchers contributing to the field.

Gebru’s departure was set in motion when she collaborated with researchers inside and outside of Google on a research paper discussing ethical issues raised by recent advances in AI language software.

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Google AI ethics co-lead Timnit Gebru says she was fired over an email

Timnit Gebru, one of the best-known AI researchers today and co-lead of an AI ethics team at Google, no longer works at the company. She was featured in Google promotional material as recently as May. According to Gebru, she was fired Wednesday for sending an email to “non-management employees that is inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.” She said Google AI employees who report to her were emailed and told that she accepted her resignation when she did not offer her resignation. VentureBeat reached out to Gebru and Google AI chief Jeff Dean for comment. This story will be updated if we hear back.

According to Casey Newton’s Platformer, who reportedly obtained a copy, Gebru sent

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Google Researcher Says She Was Fired Over Paper Highlighting Bias in A.I.

A well-respected Google researcher said she was fired by the company after criticizing its approach to minority hiring and the biases built into today’s artificial intelligence systems.

Timnit Gebru, who was a co-leader of Google’s Ethical A.I. team, said in a tweet on Wednesday evening that she was fired because of an email she had sent a day earlier to a group that included company employees.

In the email, reviewed by The New York Times, she expressed exasperation over Google’s response to efforts by her and other employees to increase minority hiring and draw attention to bias in artificial intelligence.

“Your life starts getting worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people. You start making the other leaders upset,” the email read. “There is no way more documents or more conversations will achieve anything.”

Her departure from Google highlights growing tension between Google’s outspoken work force and its buttoned-up senior

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Google spied on employees and fired them for unionizing, U.S. labor board says

The U.S. National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Google and its parent company Alphabet, accusing the tech juggernaut of violating labor laws.

The company was allegedly “interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act,” according to the complaint filed Tuesday.

Specifically, the NLRB case documents accuse Google of illegally spying on employees, firing several employees in retaliation for attempting to unionize, and illegally blocking employees from sharing work grievances and information with each other using general tools like calendars, email, meeting rooms, and an internal communication tool at Google called MemeGen.

The NLRB said it expects an answer from Google by Dec. 16 and the agency said it will hold a hearing on April 12, 2021, in San Francisco.

Google didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

The NLRB’s conclusion comes a year after CNBC

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Google fires AI researcher Timnit Gebru over critical email

Google officials did not respond to requests for comment. Gebru also did not respond to requests, but in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg said Google’s actions represented “the most fundamental silencing.” Gebru said Wednesday that she had been fired by Jeff Dean, the head of Google’s AI division, for an email she had sent to Brain Women and Allies, a mailing list for researchers on the company’s AI team known as Google Brain.

Her dismissal threatens to reignite anger over Google’s treatment of its workforce, particularly its employees of color. The company, which long evangelized its open culture, has cracked down on employee dissent over the past two years, particularly against marginalized and minority workers. Google has previously fired employees who advocated for increased diversity or critiqued the company’s ethics.

Inioluwa Deborah Raji, an AI researcher on a fellowship with the Mozilla Foundation who has worked with her, said Gebru

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Labor agency alleges Google illegally fired two workers who tried to organize

The company fired four employees last year in the wake of protests, but the NLRB only took up two of their cases. One of the said workers, Kathryn Spiers, added a pop-up notification to an internal version of Chrome that reminded her colleagues about their right to organize. At the time, Google said it “dismissed an employee who abused privileged access to modify an internal security tool.”

The other former Google employee named in the complaint, Laurence Berland, was fired after viewing his co-workers’ calendars. Google said it let Berland go over data security violations. Berland was involved in organizing against Google’s partnership with an anti-union consulting firm. If Google decides not to settle the complaint, the case will go before an administrative judge.

Google has faced other accusations of retaliating against employees who have organized protests and reported workplace issues. Workers have demonstrated over the company’s handling of sexual

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Timnit Gebru says Google fired her in retaliation for email

  • Timnit Gebru, a technical co-lead of Google’s ethical-artificial-intelligence team, said on Wednesday that she was fired by the tech giant.
  • She said she was terminated over an email sent to an internal company group. Gebru’s reports were told she offered her resignation, but management jumped the gun, Gebru said.
  • Gebru said she was told that aspects of the email she sent were “inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.”
  • Are you a current or former Googler with more to share? You can contact this reporter securely using the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-628-228-1836) or encrypted email ([email protected]). Reach out using a nonwork device.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Timnit Gebru, a technical co-lead of Google’s ethical-artificial-intelligence team, said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that she was fired by the tech giant.

Gebru is widely respected for her work examining bias in artificial intelligence and is

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Google Hit With Surprise Labor Rights Complaint Over Fired Workers

File photo of Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California in 2019.

File photo of Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California in 2019.
Photo: Amy Osborne (Getty Images)

The National Labor Relations Board filed a surprise complaint on Wednesday accusing Google of illegally surveilling and firing two workers who had tried to form a union at the tech giant. What’s so surprising? The Trump administration isn’t exactly known as a defender of labor rights.

Google fired several employees in 2019 over what the company called in an internal memo, “clear and repeated violations of our data security policies.” Those policies included use of work calendar apps for protest organizing, a policy the NLRB says didn’t actually exist before they were fired according to the new complaint.

Two of the fired employees, Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers, have identified themselves as being named in the new complaint, though the copy that has been issued redacts many of the

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Google is allowing employees back on campus for outdoor-only meetings because remote isn’t always enough



a group of people that are standing in the grass: AMY OSBORNE/AFP via Getty Images


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  • Google is holding face-to-face gatherings outdoors on lawns and other parts of its campuses as it gets ready to welcome staff back to offices next year, a spokesperson told CNBC.  
  • The news followed Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai’s September announcement that the company was making changes to its physical spaces to enable a hybrid model of work.
  • “We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having that sense of community, is super important for whenever you have to solve hard problems, you have to create something new,” said Pichai during an interview for Time 100. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google is testing socially distanced outdoor meetings on company campuses, preparing to get employees back to offices next year.

The socially-distanced meetings, called “onsite off-site”, are held on lawns and other parts of the tech giant campuses where COVID-19 restrictions

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