According to the latest news, Google has fired the founder and co-head of its AI ethics unit, alleging she violated its code of conduct.
An American-based multinational technology company, Google, announced that an investigation found Margaret Mitchell had moved files outside the company.
Since December, the ethics unit has been under investigation following the departure of another senior figure, Timnit Gebru.
Significantly both women had campaigned for more diversity at Google and raised concerns about censorship within the company.
Notably, Margaret Mitchel posted on Twitter to tell everyone that she was fired.
For the last five weeks, she had been removed from Google’s systems and locked out from her emails and calendars.
Dr. Gebru, head of Artificial Intelligence ethics researcher, says she was fired late last year after sending an internal email that accused Google of silencing marginalized voices. However, Google says she left the company.
Gebru was required to remove a research paper
Gebru co-authored a research paper, which she says she was required to remove. The report had pinpointed flaws in Artificial Intelligence language technology, including a system developed by Google.
Following a meeting on the paper, she sent an email to an internal group named ‘Brain Women and Allies,’ criticizing the decision.
Dr. Gebru had emailed her management some critical conditions for deleting her name from the paper, and if they were not met, she would work on the last date for her employment.
Gebru says that the company replied they respected her decision to leave Google, and they were accepting her resignation.
The fallout caused many within the scientific community to question the ethics of conducting research with prominent technology companies.
Numerous colleagues signed a letter in support of her. In response, the company’s chief executive Sundar Pichai apologized for the way she left the company.
The giant company has been criticized for the lack of diversity in its workforce. Furthermore, there are concerns about the AI technology that underpins many of its services.