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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Senior Google AI Scientist Resigns after Colleagues were Fired

Google senior researcher Samy Bengio has left their AI department following the firing of two researchers on his team.

Bengio resigned Tuesday afternoon following the removal of Timnit Gerbu and Margaret Mitchell, two women that also worked in Google’s AI division. 

Gerbu announced on Twitter in December 2020 that she was fired because of a research paper she wrote regarding risks for bias in artificial intelligence, including in systems used by Google and its clients.

Margaret Mitchell, another researcher in Google’s AI division, was fired two months later after she launched a self-lead investigation where she used automated software to scrub old messages looking for evidence of discrimination against Gerbu.

Bengio worked at Google for 14 years, mostly in their artificial intelligence division. Most of his focus was on deep machine learning.

Google confirmed to CNET that Bengio had resigned but declined to comment further. Google had announced a restructure of their AI department in February following the termination of Gerbu and Mitchell.

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