Google fired founder and co-lead of Ethical AI team

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The news comes weeks after she was locked out of her work accounts. The reason for this was that an investigation was going on, related to her objections concerning her co-lead, Timnit Gebru.

Google sent a spokesperson who made a statement after the investigation was concluded.

The spokesperson said that the investigation was about concerns that Mitchell was sharing internal company files with third parties. Google’s security systems, the spokesperson said, can detect that an account is at risk of compromise and lock it automatically.

Bully tactics?

The statement continued to elaborate that the security systems are capable of locking employees out and sometimes use automated rules that involve how sensitive data is handled. When these rules are triggered, the spokesperson said, an employee could be locked out.

In this instance, the statement says, Google reports that its systems detected that an account had exfiltrated thousands of files and shared them with several external accounts.

Google maintains that it explained all this to the employee. Firing Timnit Gebru sent some shockwaves in the AI community since it was seen as a way to silence the dissenting voices of world-renowned ethicists because they don’t say what Google wants them to say.

If Google does what Google wants…

The people who are hired to oversee the ethical development and deployment of Google AI systems are important. They stand between us and a corporation known for unsavory business practices.

If they cannot be allowed to do their job of ensuring that ethics is maintained, the hand of capitalism greed will take the AI wheel. We all know who gains the world and who loses everything when corporations do whatever they want.

Mitchell has been let go, as a result of the investigation by Google, on grounds of sharing sensitive data.