Why do Google AI researchers continue to quit or get fired?
Samy Bengio, a renowned researcher at Google Brain, Google’s artificial intelligence research group, says he will quit Google. This news is causing a stir. Benzio became the highest-ranking researcher who resigned after another Google artificial intelligence ethicist, Timnit Gebru, was abruptly fired.
”This is one of the most difficult emails I can send to all of you,” Benzio said in an email to Google’s research team. “I decided to leave Google to find another opportunity. There’s no doubt it’s really hard to leave this great team.” The retirement date has been set for April 28. He left the company after working for more than 10 years since 2007.
Benzio was the manager of Gebru’s team who was fired earlier. Even though Benzio was Gebru’s boss, he didn’t know that Gebru had been fired by Google. “Timnit, I support you,” he said in a Facebook post in December 2020. “I support all of Google’s brain research teams, including the Ethical AI team,” he wrote.
Gebrew, who was fired earlier, is the technical director of Google’s Ethical AI team and has been working on algorithmic bias and data mining. She is well-known for her advocacy of diversity in technology and is also the co-founder of a black community of researchers called Black in AI.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of the company, reportedly said he would thoroughly investigate Gebru’s dismissal as the industry was angry, and that he also conducted an actual investigation…The problem was that he said he had completed the investigation in February and took necessary measures, but refused to share the results.
There was even another wave of layoffs. In February, when Google fired Margaret Mitchell, who led the team with Gebru, google gave the reason for ‘transferring electronic files out of the company’. Angry scholars have refused Google’s funding. Google is also experiencing internal strife, with some more employees expressing their intention to quit over Gebrew’s resignation.
Benzio did not elaborate on Gebru in his e-mail Tuesday, but praised her for improving “understanding machine learning and its impact on the world.”
He said, “I was able to learn a lot from you in terms of machine learning research. But I was able to learn how difficult it is to overcome diversity and differences and work with a long-term vision in a large research team.
The ethics monopoly of big companies has already become a social problem. Artificial intelligence inevitably requires big data, so a small number of big techs with this huge data are developing into a structure that has no choice but to monopolize artificial intelligence. The continued discord and resignation of the company with the responsible people make us assume that there is criticism even within Google.
It is an urgent time to come up with a plan for the development of artificial intelligence that everyone is working with rather than monopolizing it. We all have to start by figuring things out. We need a global computer network that connects the world like AI network. It would be the first step for all developers in the AI network to stop monopoly and find equality with collective intelligence.
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