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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Google’s Co-Head of Ethical AI Says She Was Fired for Email

(Bloomberg) — Timnit Gebru, a co-leader of the Ethical Artificial Intelligence team at Google, said she was fired for sending an email that management deemed “inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.”

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The email and the firing were the culmination of about a week of wrangling over the company’s request that Gebru retract an AI ethics paper she had co-written with six others, including four Google employees, that was submitted for consideration for an industry conference next year, Gebru said in an interview Thursday. If she wouldn’t retract the paper, Google at least wanted the names of the Google employees removed.

Gebru asked Google Research vice president Megan Kacholia for an explanation and told her that without more discussion on the paper and the way it was handled she would plan to resign after a transition period. She also wanted to make sure she was clear

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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 illegally fired two employees pushing for workplace rights, regulators say

Google illegally fired two employees who had sought to inform fellow workers about their job rights, federal labor regulators alleged this week.

In a complaint filed on Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board charges that Alphabet-owned Google fired two workers as a way to squash further employee activism. Google “surveilled” and “interrogated” employees over their activities, the NLRB alleges, and selectively enforced workplace policies to discourage workers from organizing.

The complaint stems from an incident last year, when Google fired four workers shortly after Thanksgiving. Some of the fired employees had protested the company’s involvement with Customs and Border Protection; others objected to Google’s hiring of an anti-union consulting firm, IRI Consultants.

A fifth worker, security engineer Kathryn Spiers, who was initially suspended but then fired in December, had created a pop-up notification that reminded workers of their rights to discuss workplace issues without fear of retaliation. 

The notification appeared

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Google AI ethicist says she was fired because of an email

Timnit Gebru, a co-leader of Google’s Ethical Artificial Intelligence team, said late Wednesday that she’d been abruptly fired from the search giant over an email she sent to colleagues. 



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Gebru, a prominent AI researcher, has done studies on the dangers of facial recognition bias and has spoken out on the lack of diversity in the tech industry. 

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In a series of tweets Wednesday night, Gebru said she was terminated for a message she sent to Google Brain Women and Allies, an internal email list at the company. After sending the email, Gebru said she received a note from her manager telling her the message was “inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.” 

Gebru didn’t publicly share the contents of her initial email to the Brain group. But the email reportedly criticized Google’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion operation for being unaccountable, according

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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 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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One of Google’s leading AI researchers says she’s been fired in retaliation for an email to other employees



Tiffany Grant wearing glasses: Timnit Gebru, co-lead of Google's ethical artificial intelligence team Kimberly White/Getty Images


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Timnit Gebru, co-lead of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence team Kimberly White/Getty Images

  • Timnit Gebru, technical co-lead of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence team, said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that she had been fired by the tech giant.
  • She claims she was terminated over an email sent to an internal company group. Gebru’s reports were told she offered her resignation, but Gebru says management jumped the gun.
  • Gebru was told that aspects of an email she sent to employees 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, technical co-lead of Google ethical artificial intelligence team, said in a series of

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Federal Labor Agency Says Google Wrongly Fired 2 Employees

A federal agency said on Wednesday that Google had most likely violated labor law when it fired two employees who were involved in labor organizing, a spokesman for the agency said.

The pair were fired in November last year as Google grappled with a vocal contingent of workers who protested its handling of sexual harassment and its work with the Defense Department and federal border agencies.

Although Google fired several employees who participated in the protests, the complaint on Wednesday from the National Labor Relations Board said only the rights of Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers had been violated.

Mr. Berland had researched Google’s relationship with a firm known for its union-busting activity, and Ms. Spiers had created a digital notice that informed co-workers of their rights to organize. In a memo at the time, Google said the employees had been dismissed “for clear and repeated violations of our data

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