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



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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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The US labor board accused Google of illegally spying on employee activists, firing them, and blocking workers from organizing



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Tyler Sonnemaker/Business Insider

  • The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday filed a complaint accusing Google of violating several labor laws during a crackdown of worker activism last year.
  • The complaint said Google unlawfully terminated two employees involved in worker activism.
  • It also accused Google of violating US labor laws by monitoring and interrogating workers involved in the protests.
  • Five employees were fired late last year for their involvement in protests at the company. Two of those employees are mentioned in the complaint.
  • Are you a current or former Google insider? 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.

The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) on Wednesday issued a complaint accusing Google of violating several labor laws during a crackdown on worker activism last year.

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US Labor Board Challenges Google Moves Against Activist Employees

Google has been given two weeks to respond to a US labor board complaint accusing the internet giant of using surveillance, interrogation and other tactics to spy on activist employees.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint filed late Wednesday stemmed from the dismissal a year ago of a quartet of employees dubbed the “Thanksgiving Four.”

The workers sought a federal investigation into their dismissal, alleging they were sacked in retaliation for their labor organizing efforts, while Google maintained that the employees had violated data security policies.

A copy of the NLRB complaint seen by AFP contended that Google “surveilled” employees by peeking at slides being preparing in support of unionizing workers.

Google also “interrogated employees about protected activities” and threatened reprisals for venturing outside official company channels for handling complaints on such matters as workplace conduct, according to the complaint.

In addition, Google selectively applied rules to workers who

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