Google has been plagued by numerous controversies over AI technology and military deals as well as diversity and inclusion. (AFP)
Google recently shut down artificial intelligence (AI) researcher Margaret Mitchell. This is not the first controversy between the company and its ethics team.
What has happened so far:
- Margaret Mitchell is the second AI researcher in the Google ethics group released to reach out to companies. The company said it would be locked for a few days.
- Margaret Mitchell is one of the leaders of Google’s ethical AI team, which is responsible for developing the company’s technology in a responsible way in society.
- Google had previously fired Ethicist and Timnit Gebru. Mitchell has been a big fan of Gebru on social media and has been asking Google to fire him.
- Gebru claims he was suddenly fired by the technology company after the company demanded the withdrawal of its research paper which questioned the face recognition technology used by Google. Gebru wrote a paper with Joy Buolamwini, in which there were more errors in identifying black people compared to whites, due to the white data sets used extensively in the algorithm, reports The Verge.
- Google has received a lot of criticism for Mitchell’s sudden investigation and suspension of access to his program.
- Gebru according to the latest developments said, “What happened to Mitchell will continue to create an attitude towards corporate governance and speculation about the inefficiency of Big Tech’s financial research.”
- The Alphabet Workers’ Union (AWU) had stated, “The Alphabet Workers Union is concerned about the suspension of the acquisition of companies by Margaret Mitchell, an AWU member and leader of the Ethical AI team. This suspension comes after Google’s shooting of former boss Timnit The AWU goes on to ask the company, “No matter the outcome of the company’s investigation, the ongoing guidance of leaders in this organization is questioning Google ‘s commitment to ethics – in AI and in their business processes.”
- Google has faced many controversies related to AI technology and military as well as diversity and engagement methods.
- Another employee, April Curley, who hires a variety of Google in December, has suspected that the company has no interest in diversifying its workplace and does not want to hire black talent, according to Reuters.
- Mitchell also wrote on Twitter criticizing company CEO Sundar Photosi and the historic approach to black universities and colleges after allegations of racism surfaced in the company.
A Google spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying, “Our security systems automatically lock the company account when they see that the account is in danger of being compromised due to authentication problems or when the default law on sensitive data has been removed. In this case, our systems found yesterday that the account was hacked. Thousands of files and shared them with many external accounts. We explained this to you this morning. “