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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Two Google engineers resign over firing of ethical AI researcher – Latest News

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Two Google engineers, including one of Indian-origin, have left Google over abrupt firing of Timnit Gebru who was the technical co-lead of Google’s Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team.

While engineering director David Baker said Gebru’s dismissal “extinguished” his will to work at the company, software engineer Vinesh Kannan announced that he was quitting because Gebru and April Christina Curley, a diversity recruiter, were “wronged,” The Verge reported on Wednesday.

“Yesterday was my last day at Google. I left because Google’s mistreatment of @timnitGebru and @RealAbril crossed a personal red line I wrote down when I started the job,” Kannan wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

The personal red line he referred to “retaliation against a teammate who stands up for something I believe in.”

“I know I gained a lot from Google, but I also gained a lot from both of their work, and they were wronged,” he said.

Gebru said in December that she was fired over an email where she expressed her doubts about Google’s commitment inclusion and diversity.

Over 2,500 employees of the company signed an open letter asking Google to do better.

Later that month, Curley made her firing that took place in September 2020 public.

“THEY DO NOT WANT BLACK TALENT,” she said. In January, a group of Google employees formed the Alphabet Workers Union with an aim to tackle issues like pay disparity, retaliation and controversial government contracts.

The organisation now has more than 800 members.

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