Prominent artificial intelligence scholar Timnit Gebru helped improve Google’s public image as a company that elevates Black computer scientists and questions harmful uses of AI technology.But internally, Gebru, a leader in the field of AI ethics, was not shy about voicing doubts about those commitments – until she was pushed out of the company this week in a dispute over a research paper examining the societal dangers of an emerging branch of AI.Gebru announced on Twitter she was fired. Google told employees she resigned. More than 1,200 Google employees have signed on to an open letter calling the incident “unprecedented research censorship” and faulting the company for racism and defensiveness.The furor over Gebru’s abrupt departure is the latest incident raising questions about whether Google has strayed so far away from its original “Don’t Be Evil” motto that the company now routinely ousts employees who dare to challenge management. The exit of Gebru, who is Black, also raised further doubts about diversity and inclusion at a company where Black women account for just 1.6% of the workforce.And it’s exposed concerns beyond Google about whether showy efforts at ethical AI – ranging from a White House executive order this week to ethics… Read full this story
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