Alphabet Inc’s Google fired staff scientist Margaret Mitchell on Friday, they both said, a move that fanned company divisions on academic freedom and diversity that were on display since its December dismissal of AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru. Google said in a statement Mitchell violated the company’s code of conduct and security policies by moving electronic files outside the company. Mitchell, who announced her firing on Twitter, did not respond to a request for comment.
Google‘s ethics in artificial intelligence work has been under scrutiny since the firing of Gebru, a scientist who gained prominence for exposing bias in facial analysis systems. The dismissal prompted thousands of Google workers to protest. She and Mitchell had called for greater diversity and inclusion among Google’s research staff and expressed concern that the company was starting to censor papers critical of its products.
Gebru said Google fired her after she questioned an order not to publish a study saying AI that mimics language could hurt marginalized populations. Mitchell, a co-author of the paper, publicly criticized the company for firing Gebru and undermining the credibility of her work. The pair for about two years had co-led the ethical AI team, started by Mitchell.
Google AI research director Zoubin Ghahramani and a company lawyer informed Mitchell’s team of her firing on Friday in a meeting called at short notice, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person said little explanation was given for the dismissal. Google declined to comment.
The company said Mitchell’s firing followed disciplinary recommendations by investigators and a review committee. It said her violations “included the exfiltration of confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees.” The investigation began January 19.
Google employee Alex Hanna said on Twitter the company was running a “smear campaign” against Mitchell and Gebru, with whom she worked closely. Google declined to comment on Hanna’s remarks. Google has recruited top scientists with promises of research freedom, but the limits are tested as researchers increasingly write about the negative effects of technology and offer unflattering perspectives on their employer’s products.
Reuters reported exclusively in December that Google introduced a new “sensitive topics” review last year to ensure that papers on topics such as the oil industry and content recommendation systems would not get the company into legal or regulatory trouble. Mitchell publicly expressed concern that the policy could lead to censorship. Google reiterated to researchers in a memo and meeting on Friday that it was working to improve pre-publication review of papers. It also announced new policies on Friday to handle sensitive departures and evaluate executives based on team diversity and inclusion.
WhatsApp Gets New Feature That Lets Users Mute Audio of the Video Before Sharing
WhatsApp has finally rolled out the mute-video feature that lets users mute the audio of videos while sharing them with others. The feature is currently rolling out to Android users and its availability for the iOS client remains unclear. The feature has been in the works for quite some time, and beta users received its access last month. Android WhatsApp users must ensure that they are using the latest version of the app to use the mute-video feature. Users can update the manually via Google Play Store.
To mute the audio of the video before sharing, users will need to tap on the speaker button below the seeker tool that allows trimming the length of a clip. The feature is similar to the mute audio option on the Instagram app that has been existing for quite some time. The latest WhatsApp feature is also rolling out to Android smartphone users in India. Though the update is not substantial, it is still useful as users can mute sensitive audio on videos that they want to share with others.
- Still living in fear, no compensation yet for our losses: A year on, OpIndia spoke to the owner of a parking lot burnt down in Delhi Riots
- WATCH: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane Go Full Throttle at Nets Ahead of Fourth Test
- ‘Blackmailers also come to this court’: Delhi HC pulls up petitioner over frivolous PIL
- China Appoints Ex-PLA General Who Headed Troops on India Front to Top Parliamentary Committee
- Hyderabad Is ‘Absolutely Capable’ of Conducting IPL 2021, Says Mohammad Azharuddin
Still living in fear, no compensation yet for our losses: A year on, OpIndia spoke to the owner of a parking lot burnt down in Delhi Riots
Delhi was in throes of violent anti-Hindu riots in the last week of February last year. The communal flare-up was...
WATCH: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane Go Full Throttle at Nets Ahead of Fourth Test
Big guns Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane went full throttle at the nets as the Indian cricket on...
‘Blackmailers also come to this court’: Delhi HC pulls up petitioner over frivolous PIL
Courts in India are often burdened with frivolous petitions by litigants who would seek judicial recourse for each and everything...
China Appoints Ex-PLA General Who Headed Troops on India Front to Top Parliamentary Committee
The Indian Army has occupied numerous dominating heights in the Chushul Sector, overlooking the Chinese positions across the LAC. The...
Hyderabad Is ‘Absolutely Capable’ of Conducting IPL 2021, Says Mohammad Azharuddin
Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president and former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin as pitched for holding Indian Premier League (IPL) matches...
ENTERTAINMENT2 months ago
She Is the Blackest Girl In The World, Yet The Most Beautiful, See The Picture
ENTERTAINMENT2 months ago
Malaika Arora And Arjun Kapoor, Pictures From The Past 2020
NEWS2 months ago
Mukesh Ambani And Nita Ambani’s Grandchild Name Revealed, Congratulations To Parents Shloka Ambani And Akash Ambani
NEWS1 month ago
Cricketer Hardik Pandya’s Father Passed Away, Elder Brother Krunal Pandya Left The Tournament Midway
ARTICLES2 months ago
This Makar Sankranti Is Becoming Very Auspicious Coincidence, Do Any One Of These 5 Measures, The Doors Of Fate Will Open For You