Google confirmed on Tuesday that a leader of its artificial intelligence team had resigned in a departure that comes after the controversial dismissal of two colleagues.
The internet giant declined to comment further on the resignation of Samy Bengio, who has worked at Google for about four years and specializes in machine learning.
“While I look forward to my next challenge, there is no doubt that leaving this wonderful team is really difficult,” Bengio wrote in a working email first cited by Bloomberg.
Bengio did not refer to Timnit Gebru or Margaret Mitchell, two former team members focused on ethical artificial intelligence.
In February, Google sacked Mitchell, a senior researcher, following a controversy last year over tech giant’s dismissal of Gebru, an outspoken diversity advocate.
Bengio expressed his solidarity with Gebru in a post shared on Facebook which remained in place on Tuesday.
“I have always been and will remain a strong supporter of his scientific work to ensure that AI becomes a positive force for minorities, as well as his generosity and tireless actions to raise the voices of the silenced.” Bengio said of Gebru in the post.
Mitchell had uploaded and shared company documents, according to a statement from Google earlier this year to Axios, which said it was an effort to show discrimination in the treatment of Gebru, who had been fired Last year.
In December, more than 1,400 Google employees asked the company to explain why it had fired Gebru.
“It’s sad to see this happening to the only director of the research organization who was doing the right thing,” Gebru said of Bengio on Twitter.
Mitchell took to Twitter to thank Bengio for supporting her and Gebru and providing them with an inclusive environment.
“But once you ‘see’ the sexism and racism, staying in an organization that sticks to it becomes untenable,” Mitchell said in a tweet, predicting that more of his old team at Google would leave.
“There is a lot of interest outside of Google in responsible / ethical AI, so the people we’ve worked with have a lot of options.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)