Market Overview

Leading Google AI Researcher Says Search Engine Giant Fired Her Over Internal Email Critical Of Higher-Ups

Share:
Leading Google AI Researcher Says Search Engine Giant Fired Her Over Internal Email Critical Of Higher-Ups

Alphabet Inc’s  (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) search engine unit Google fired the co-head of its Ethical Artificial Intelligence team, Timnit Gebru, over an email she wrote to an internal group and her “insufficiently rigorous” work, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

What Happened: "I was fired by [Jeff Dean] for my email to Brain women and Allies. My corp account has been cutoff. So I've been immediately fired," Gebru tweeted after she was let go by the search engine giant on Thursday — tagging Dean, senior Google fellow and Head of Artificial Intelligence.

Gebru, who is Black, wrote you are not “someone whose humanity…is acknowledged or valued in this company.”

Dean told staff in an internal email that Gebru’s latest research work on AI was “insufficiently rigorous” and expressed disappointment that she stirred fellow employees not to participate in Google’s diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Dean and Gebru are also at odds on whether the latter was fired or resigned, as per the Journal.

Why It Matters: Gebru was an AI skeptic and a critic of tools used by law enforcement agencies, which she found discriminated against people with darker skin, the Journal noted.

Google reportedly asked Gebru not to publish her research and did not explain the reasoning behind its stand.

On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board accused the Mountain View, California company of spying on its workers after investigating the termination of several employees last year.

Price Action: Alphabet Class A shares closed nearly 0.2% lower at $1,821.84 on Thursday. On the same day, the company’s Class C shares closed mostly unchanged at $1,826.77 and gained 0.12% in the after-hours session.

 

Related Articles (GOOG + GOOGL)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: Google Artificial Intelligence Jeff Dean The Wall Street Journal Timnit GebruNews Tech Media Best of Benzinga