Google fires top AI ethicist

World

Google fires top AI ethicist

Margaret Mitchell’s removal comes after Timnit Gebru’s, amid debate about diversity at tech group

Richard Waters

Google fired a top AI researcher on Friday, the second high-level departure to shine an unwelcome spotlight on its management of sensitive artificial intelligence issues and wider internal discontent about race and diversity.

The internet group said Margaret Mitchell, who had been co-head of its AI ethics group, had been dismissed about “multiple violations of our code of conduct” and security policies. These included the “exfiltration of confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees”, it said.

The move comes two months after the departure of Timnit Gebru, the other head of the ethics group, which was formed to lead research into new techniques for making sure the company’s AI technology was used in a fair and unbiased way...

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