Google accuses Margaret Mitchell of breaking her code of conduct while accusing the company of forcing her to retract on search results.
Margaret Mitchell, who founded Google’s ethics and artificial intelligence research team, was “fired,” she announced on Twitter on Friday, a month after her suspension which had already earned the tech giant criticism. .
“After reviewing this manager’s behavior, we confirmed that there were multiple breaches of our code of conduct, as well as our security regulations, including exfiltration of sensitive confidential documents and private data on other employees, ”a spokesperson for the Californian group told AFP.
In January, Margaret Mitchell was denied access to her business account, weeks after the dismissal of her team member, Timnit Gebru. “These are attacks against people who try to make Google’s technology more ethical,” responded a spokesperson for the Alphabet Workers Union, the union recently formed by employees of the group.
Google accuses the ethics and artificial intelligence researcher of having downloaded a large number of documents related to her former colleague and then shared them with outsiders. But the company faces criticism as Margaret Mitchell accuses the company of forcing it to back down on research results.
Under his Friday tweet – “I got fired” – messages of support abounded. “I imagine that means that ethical AI has no place in a capitalist society,” commented Chelsea Manning, the former military analyst who was convicted of treason after passing on classified documents. at WikiLeaks.
On January 19, two days before her suspension, the computer scientist publicly criticized the group’s executive director, Sundar Pichai, on the subject of racism. “Let’s say you have a problem because you keep alienating black women and causing them significant harm,” she tweeted over a link to a CNN article titled “The Boss of Google meets with leaders of black universities after accusations of racism ”. “You can: A) try to right your wrongs B) try to find more black people to like you (the token and superficial approach). Good luck…”.
In December, more than 1,400 Google employees and nearly 2,000 others signed a letter calling on the company to explain why Timnit Gebru was fired and why it had to retract. They also called on Alphabet to make an “unequivocal” commitment to research integrity and academic freedom.