A certain group of Google AI Researchers sent out a long list of demands to the management all calling for brand new policies as well as a leadership change. These demands escalate the conflict within one of the company’s very important units.
Google AI researchers
According to the story by Bloomberg, the note centers around the department of Google AI ethics researcher known as Timnit Gebru, which had set off a number of protests even inside the company. Citing that in the situation, the employees actually called for Megan Kacholia, a company vice president, to be excluded from the reporting chain.
The complaints from researchers detailed that they no longer have trust in her as a leader. Gebru said that she was previously fired after Google rejected a certain research paper she had co-authored that actually questioned a certain AI technology at the very heart of Google’s popular search engine.The company stated that she had resigned and that Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai told the staff that he himself is investigating this incident.
Timnit Gebru Google scholar
The letter obtained by Bloomberg also states that Google’s own short-sighted decision to proceed to fire and even retaliate against a core member of the known Ethical AI team definitely makes it clear that people need both swift and structured changes if this particular work continues. It was also said that changes have to be done if the legitimacy of this entire field is to persevere.
The letter was sent to officials which included CEO Pichai by a certain employee named Alex Hanna who reportedly worked alongside Gebru, on behalf of Google’s own Ethical AI team. The researchers added that this particular research must definitely be able in order to contest the company’s own short-term interests and also immediate revenue agendas, and even investigate AI as well as its deployment by Google’s own competitors with certain similar ethical motives.
Timnit Gebru back in AI
The letter even urged Google to be able to offer Gebru another chance to come back to the company at supposedly a “higher level” in comparison to the position that she had before. Researchers then asked both Jeff Dean and Kacholia, the AI division chief, to both apologize to Gebru for the way they treated her. It also calls for the entire company to issue a certain public commitment towards academic integrity in order to establish racial literacy training for the management, according to an article by Fortune.
This is said to be the latest worker uprising at Google. Back in 2018, there were reportedly thousands of employees that walked out while some even sent the company a certain list of reform demands which included placing a certain employee representative directly on the board. While the company still made a few changes, just like no longer forcing its employees to arbitrate workplace claims, the main bulk of the demands still remain unmet.