On Friday, more than 1,400 Google employees and more than 1,500 university professors and civil society activists requested clarification from the tech giant about firing a black-skinned researcher.
More than 2,700 sites on an online petition on Thursday demanded an “unambiguous” commitment on the part of Google, respect for scientific integrity and academic freedom, in addition to the explanations for the article.
Google, in response to requests for comment from Agence France-Presse, sent an email to the director of the artificial intelligence department at Google, Jeff Dean, who had been published yesterday via the Internet.
Dean indicated in the mail that it was a “difficult moment”, and considered that there was “a lot of speculation and misunderstanding on social media,” about the departure of the African-American researcher, Tymnet Gebro, who was working on ethical issues related to artificial intelligence, from the company.
He said, “The research paper written by Gibro and other researchers, was shared for review only one day before the deadline for submission,” noting that “it contained some important loopholes that prevented them from being comfortable with putting the Google name on it.”
Dean explained that “Gebro responded with conditions,” including that “the company provides it with the names of everyone who participated in the review of the paper,” stressing that it will leave the company “if the conditions are not met.”
And he added, “We accept and respect her decision to resign from Google.”
Last Wednesday, the researcher Tymnet Gebro confirmed, through a tweet on “Twitter,” that “her managers at work accepted a resignation that she did not submit,” after she complained to an internal group about the fact that the company “silences the marginalized voices.”
Gebro pointed out that the company “Google” criticized it because of “certain aspects” of the mail sent to this internal group, which may “conflict with what is expected of a manager at Google.”
According to the US official NPR radio, Gibro stated to this group that it “had received an order to withdraw a scientific article about the potential use of artificial intelligence to imitate hate or biased statements.”
It is worth noting that Tymnet Gebro is a pro-diversity advocate and co-founder of the Black Talents for Artificial Intelligence group, which aims to increase the presence of black people in this field.
Source: “France Press”