AP Tech Writer
Originally published 4 DEC 20
Here is an excerpt:
Gebru on Tuesday vented her frustrations about the process to an internal diversity-and-inclusion email group at Google, with the subject line: “Silencing Marginalized Voices in Every Way Possible." Gebru said on Twitter that's the email that got her fired.
Dean, in an email to employees, said the company accepted “her decision to resign from Google” because she told managers she'd leave if her demands about the study were not met.
"Ousting Timnit for having the audacity to demand research integrity severely undermines Google’s credibility for supporting rigorous research on AI ethics and algorithmic auditing," said Joy Buolamwini, a graduate researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who co-authored the 2018 facial recognition study with Gebru.
“She deserves more than Google knew how to give, and now she is an all-star free agent who will continue to transform the tech industry,” Buolamwini said in an email Friday.
How Google will handle its AI ethics initiative and the internal dissent sparked by Gebru's exit is one of a number of problems facing the company heading into the new year.
At the same time she was on her way out, the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday cast another spotlight on Google's workplace. In a complaint, the NRLB accused the company of spying on employees during a 2019 effort to organize a union before the company fired two activist workers for engaging in activities allowed under U.S. law. Google has denied the allegations in the case, which is scheduled for an April hearing.