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Google fires A.I. researcher

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Was Google right to fire her?

Yes
29
48%
No
21
35%
Reinstate James Damore NOW!
10
17%
 
Total votes : 60

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Glorious Hong Kong
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Google fires A.I. researcher

Postby Glorious Hong Kong » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:20 pm

Timnit Gebru: Google staff rally behind fired AI researcher

Hundreds of Google staff have signed a letter backing a leading AI ethics researcher who was sacked by Google.

Timnit Gebru says she was fired after sending an internal email that accused Google of "silencing marginalised voices".

Hundreds of colleagues have signed a letter accusing the search giant of racism and censorship, while Twitter users have rallied around Dr Gebru using the hashtag #BelieveBlackWomen.

Google disputes her version of events.

Dr Gebru is a well-respected researcher in the field of ethics and the use of artificial intelligence.

She is well-known for her work on racial bias in technology such as facial recognition, and has criticised systems that fail to recognise black faces.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Her co-author on one of those well-known papers, Joy Buolamwini, said Dr Gebru "deserved more" from Google.

"Ousting Timnit for having the audacity to demand research integrity severely undermines Google's credibility for supporting rigorous research on AI ethics and algorithmic auditing," she said.

"We owe her a debt of gratitude for advancing not just the field of artificial intelligence, but for advancing equality with humility and grace."
What happened?

Dr Gebru alleges that as she was preparing to go on leave, she was called to a meeting about a research paper she had co-written.

She said she was ordered to retract the research paper and that Google was not prepared to engage in a discussion about the matter.

Following the meeting, she sent an email to an internal group called "Brain Women and Allies", criticising the decision. A copy of the email has been published by Platformer.

"You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity... is acknowledged or valued in this company," she said in the email.

"Stop writing your documents because it doesn't make a difference."
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Dr Gebru had emailed her management laying out some key conditions for removing her name from the paper, and if they were not met, she would "work on a last date" for her employment.

According to Dr Gebru, Google replied: "We respect your decision to leave Google... and we are accepting your resignation.

"However, we believe the end of your employment should happen faster than your email reflects because certain aspects of the email you sent last night to non-management employees in the brain group reflect behaviour that is inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager."

Dr Gebru denied she had resigned, tweeting that she had been fired by Jeff Dean, a senior manager at Google dealing with AI Research.

"I guess [management] decided for me", she said.
What has the reaction been?

Since her dismissal, the open letter of support has attracted nearly 2,000 signatories, both from within Google and the wider industry.

News of her dismissal came on the same day that a US labour agency accused Google of illegally firing staff for their involvement in union activity.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Google staff who worked with Dr Gebru have applauded her academic contributions and her work as a manager.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

"I cannot count the number of times Timnit Gebru has encouraged us, spoken out for us, defended us and stuck her neck out for us," tweeted Deb Raji, an AI researcher.

"She has made real sacrifices for the Black community. Now it's time to stand with her!"
What does Google say?

In an email, Mr Dean said there had been "a lot of speculation and misunderstanding" about the firing.

He alleged that Dr Gebru's paper was submitted a day before its deadline, which was not enough time for Google's review process. He also said the paper ignored much relevant research.

"Timnit responded with an email requiring that a number of conditions be met in order for her to continue working at Google, including revealing the identities of every person who [we] had spoken to and consulted as part of the review of the paper and the exact feedback.

"Timnit wrote that if we didn't meet these demands, she would leave Google and work on an end date. We accept and respect her decision to resign from Google," Mr Dean wrote.


Thoughts? Was Google right to fire this lady in the first place?

Given that she was the one who sent an abusive internal email to colleagues in the first place...

"You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity... is acknowledged or valued in this company," she said in the email.

"Stop writing your documents because it doesn't make a difference."


...I think Google made the right decision. This pampered crybully and many of her woke colleagues just want to play the race and gender victim card any opportunity they can get and make everything all about that. They're clearly lying about how rAcIsT and sExIsT Google supposedly is. Some of their Twitter bios contain the words "he/him" or "she/her" in the description, indicating their obvious SJW, cultural Marxist leanings. (Embedded tweets viewable in link.) Compare this woke outcry to the hostile reaction James Damore received from his colleagues when he sent an internal email to colleagues titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" and his subsequent firing when he dared to criticize diversity training sessions at his workplace. If anything, it's these abusive snowflakes who should be laid off and forced to get real jobs instead of poisoning and infiltrating otherwise upstanding tech companies with their toxic, woke BS.

And why the hell does the BBC keep pushing this insane woke nonsense? When are they going to interview James Damore and give critics of all this SJW, critical race theory, third wave feminism nonsense an opportunity to push back?

UPDATE: A little background info on James Damore. The guy was similarly fired for writing an internal memo that he was specifically invited to write criticizing diversity sessions and "reverse discrimination" and suggesting, with the aid of studies and graphs, that women were less motivated to work in STEM. The memo was somehow leaked to the public and he was fired. The difference is that most of his colleagues did not have his back while the few that did were too afraid to speak out in support of him. Woke, radical feminist, SJW hysteria got the better of most of his colleagues and Google's management succumbed under pressure.

Here's the wiki on James Damore and the memo

And here's the memo itself
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Postby Kexholm Karelia » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:25 pm

It was a private corporation, it’s their right, my political opponents shouldn’t feel such a persecution complex.

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Postby Adamede » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:26 pm

So I’m confused on the exact reason they fired her, what a was it exactly about the content of the research paper she wrote that they had problems with?
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Postby Nakena » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:29 pm

I am insufficiently familiar with the case to give a qualified statement.

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Wink Wonk We Like Stonks
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Postby Wink Wonk We Like Stonks » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:30 pm

If she did say the things you're saying she did, google would be right to fire her for it. I don't know why you pulled the "wOkE lIbErAlS" card though, when it would have been so much easier to a. state your opinion rationally or b. just say "dehumanizing your colleagues is not alright, regardless of who does it"
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Postby The fox duchy » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:31 pm

Nakena wrote:I am insufficiently familiar with the case to give a qualified statement.


same here, was the report exposing a major flaw in google?

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Wink Wonk We Like Stonks
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Postby Wink Wonk We Like Stonks » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:44 pm

Kexholm Karelia wrote:It was a private corporation, it’s their right, my political opponents shouldn’t feel such a persecution complex.

/s

based and no u pilled.
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Postby Sundiata » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:50 pm

Google is a legal person. I suppose it's within its rights.
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Wink Wonk We Like Stonks
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Postby Wink Wonk We Like Stonks » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:53 pm

Sundiata wrote:Google is a legal person. I suppose it's within its rights.

That's the problem. It's a corporation, not a human person, and should be treated as such.
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Postby Kowani » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:56 pm

i'm very confused as tow what their rationale is
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Postby Galloism » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:57 pm

Nakena wrote:I am insufficiently familiar with the case to give a qualified statement.

This.

But also, when Google said "you can't quit on X date, we're terminating you on Y date (before X)", that's not a resignation. There's an order of operations to these things, and that's definitely a firing. Whether it's justified or not for unemployment purposes I don't know, but they can't call it a resignation if you terminate someone before their given resignation date.
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Postby Sundiata » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:59 pm

Wink Wonk We Like Stonks wrote:
Sundiata wrote:Google is a legal person. I suppose it's within its rights.

That's the problem. It's a corporation, not a human person, and should be treated as such.

It's not being treated like a human person though. It's a legal person.
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Postby Cordel One » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:10 pm

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:Timnit Gebru: Google staff rally behind fired AI researcher

Hundreds of Google staff have signed a letter backing a leading AI ethics researcher who was sacked by Google.

Timnit Gebru says she was fired after sending an internal email that accused Google of "silencing marginalised voices".

okay

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:[Hundreds of colleagues have signed a letter accusing the search giant of racism and censorship, while Twitter users have rallied around Dr Gebru using the hashtag #BelieveBlackWomen.

Okay? Even with the article idk enough

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:[Google disputes her version of events.

Dr Gebru is a well-respected researcher in the field of ethics and the use of artificial intelligence.

She is well-known for her work on racial bias in technology such as facial recognition, and has criticised systems that fail to recognise black faces.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Her co-author on one of those well-known papers, Joy Buolamwini, said Dr Gebru "deserved more" from Google.

"Ousting Timnit for having the audacity to demand research integrity severely undermines Google's credibility for supporting rigorous research on AI ethics and algorithmic auditing," she said.

"We owe her a debt of gratitude for advancing not just the field of artificial intelligence, but for advancing equality with humility and grace."
What happened?

Dr Gebru alleges that as she was preparing to go on leave, she was called to a meeting about a research paper she had co-written.

She said she was ordered to retract the research paper and that Google was not prepared to engage in a discussion about the matter.

Following the meeting, she sent an email to an internal group called "Brain Women and Allies", criticising the decision. A copy of the email has been published by Platformer.

"You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity... is acknowledged or valued in this company," she said in the email.

"Stop writing your documents because it doesn't make a difference."
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Dr Gebru had emailed her management laying out some key conditions for removing her name from the paper, and if they were not met, she would "work on a last date" for her employment.

According to Dr Gebru, Google replied: "We respect your decision to leave Google... and we are accepting your resignation.

"However, we believe the end of your employment should happen faster than your email reflects because certain aspects of the email you sent last night to non-management employees in the brain group reflect behaviour that is inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager."

Dr Gebru denied she had resigned, tweeting that she had been fired by Jeff Dean, a senior manager at Google dealing with AI Research.

"I guess [management] decided for me", she said.
What has the reaction been?

Since her dismissal, the open letter of support has attracted nearly 2,000 signatories, both from within Google and the wider industry.

News of her dismissal came on the same day that a US labour agency accused Google of illegally firing staff for their involvement in union activity.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Google staff who worked with Dr Gebru have applauded her academic contributions and her work as a manager.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

"I cannot count the number of times Timnit Gebru has encouraged us, spoken out for us, defended us and stuck her neck out for us," tweeted Deb Raji, an AI researcher.

"She has made real sacrifices for the Black community. Now it's time to stand with her!"
What does Google say?

In an email, Mr Dean said there had been "a lot of speculation and misunderstanding" about the firing.

He alleged that Dr Gebru's paper was submitted a day before its deadline, which was not enough time for Google's review process. He also said the paper ignored much relevant research.

"Timnit responded with an email requiring that a number of conditions be met in order for her to continue working at Google, including revealing the identities of every person who [we] had spoken to and consulted as part of the review of the paper and the exact feedback.

"Timnit wrote that if we didn't meet these demands, she would leave Google and work on an end date. We accept and respect her decision to resign from Google," Mr Dean wrote.


Thoughts? Was Google right to fire this lady in the first place?

Given that she was the one who sent an abusive internal email to colleagues in the first place...

Everybody in this situation is wrong imo, unless I'm missing something.

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:
"You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity... is acknowledged or valued in this company," she said in the email.

"Stop writing your documents because it doesn't make a difference."


...I think Google made the right decision.

oh boy
Glorious Hong Kong wrote:[ This pampered crybully and many of her woke colleagues just want to play the race and gender victim card any opportunity they can get and make everything all about that. They're clearly lying about how rAcIsT and sExIsT Google supposedly is.

How do you know? You don't work at Google.

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:[ Some of their Twitter bios contain the words "he/him" or "she/her" in the description,

Oh, lord forbid someone mentions their gender on their own social media. Where did the eyeroll emoji go?
Glorious Hong Kong wrote:[ indicating their obvious SJW, cultural Marxist leanings.

Mentioning buzzwords that are quite literally recycled Nazi propaganda probably isn't the best thing to do if you're trying to say an institution isn't racist.

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:[(Embedded tweets viewable in link.) Compare this woke outcry to the hostile reaction James Damore received from his colleagues when he sent an internal email to colleagues titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" and his subsequent firing when he dared to criticize diversity training sessions at his workplace. If anything, it's these abusive snowflakes who should be laid off and forced to get real jobs instead of poisoning and infiltrating otherwise upstanding tech companies with their toxic, woke BS.

We really need more racists in Google because both sides or something like that[/quote]

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:And why the hell does the BBC keep pushing this insane woke nonsense? When are they going to interview James Damore and give critics of all this SJW, critical race theory, third wave feminism nonsense an opportunity to push back?

I think you'd have given me a seizure with any more buzzwords.
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Postby Western Fardelshufflestein » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:13 pm

Wink Wonk We Like Stonks wrote:
Sundiata wrote:Google is a legal person. I suppose it's within its rights.

That's the problem. It's a corporation, not a human person, and should be treated as such.

I am a capitalist, and I am going to say right now that corporations are not people. They are platypi.
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Postby Xmara » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:14 pm

Kowani wrote:i'm very confused as tow what their rationale is

I’m very confused about the whole situation
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Postby -Astoria- » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:19 pm

Wink Wonk We Like Stonks wrote:If she did say the things you're saying she did, google would be right to fire her for it. I don't know why you pulled the "wOkE lIbErAlS" card though, when it would have been so much easier to a. state your opinion rationally or b. just say "dehumanizing your colleagues is not alright, regardless of who does it"

It becomes a recurring theme with opening posts like that, one finds.

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Postby Kowani » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:21 pm

Xmara wrote:
Kowani wrote:i'm very confused as tow what their rationale is

I’m very confused about the whole situation

Okay, from the BBC article:
Dr Gebru alleges that as she was preparing to go on leave, she was called to a meeting about a research paper she had co-written.

She said she was ordered to retract the research paper and that Google was not prepared to engage in a discussion about the matter.

Following the meeting, she sent an email to an internal group called "Brain Women and Allies", criticising the decision. A copy of the email has been published by Platformer.

"You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity... is acknowledged or valued in this company," she said in the email.

"Stop writing your documents because it doesn't make a difference."
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Postby Western Fardelshufflestein » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:23 pm

Kowani wrote:
Xmara wrote:I’m very confused about the whole situation

Okay, from the BBC article:
Dr Gebru alleges that as she was preparing to go on leave, she was called to a meeting about a research paper she had co-written.

She said she was ordered to retract the research paper and that Google was not prepared to engage in a discussion about the matter.

Following the meeting, she sent an email to an internal group called "Brain Women and Allies", criticising the decision. A copy of the email has been published by Platformer.

"You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity... is acknowledged or valued in this company," she said in the email.

"Stop writing your documents because it doesn't make a difference."

If she legitimately did write that, she deserves to be fired for blatantly telling someone that they aren't valued. She could have been being sarcastic, but that does not always come through in typed format.
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Postby Kowani » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:25 pm

Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:
Kowani wrote:Okay, from the BBC article:
Dr Gebru alleges that as she was preparing to go on leave, she was called to a meeting about a research paper she had co-written.

She said she was ordered to retract the research paper and that Google was not prepared to engage in a discussion about the matter.

Following the meeting, she sent an email to an internal group called "Brain Women and Allies", criticising the decision. A copy of the email has been published by Platformer.

"You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity... is acknowledged or valued in this company," she said in the email.

"Stop writing your documents because it doesn't make a difference."

If she legitimately did write that, she deserves to be fired for blatantly telling someone that they aren't valued. She could have been being sarcastic, but that does not always come through in typed format.

I believe (and note there's no context given in the article) that she was actually referring to how she felt Google was treating her
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Postby Western Fardelshufflestein » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:31 pm

Kowani wrote:
Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:If she legitimately did write that, she deserves to be fired for blatantly telling someone that they aren't valued. She could have been being sarcastic, but that does not always come through in typed format.

I believe (and note there's no context given in the article) that she was actually referring to how she felt Google was treating her

Oof. Added context would really be helpful in this situation.
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Postby Ethel mermania » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:35 pm

Galloism wrote:
Nakena wrote:I am insufficiently familiar with the case to give a qualified statement.

This.

But also, when Google said "you can't quit on X date, we're terminating you on Y date (before X)", that's not a resignation. There's an order of operations to these things, and that's definitely a firing. Whether it's justified or not for unemployment purposes I don't know, but they can't call it a resignation if you terminate someone before their given resignation date.


Once you resign the company has every right to walk you out the door. How it would affect an unemployment claim, I am not sure.
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Kowani
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Postby Kowani » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:36 pm

Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:
Kowani wrote:I believe (and note there's no context given in the article) that she was actually referring to how she felt Google was treating her

Oof. Added context would really be helpful in this situation.

Okay, I got the original email.

My initial hunch was right:
Have you ever heard of someone getting “feedback” on a paper through a privileged and confidential document to HR? Does that sound like a standard procedure to you or does it just happen to people like me who are constantly dehumanized?

Imagine this: You’ve sent a paper for feedback to 30+ researchers, you’re awaiting feedback from PR & Policy who you gave a heads up before you even wrote the work saying “we’re thinking of doing this”, working on a revision plan figuring out how to address different feedback from people, haven’t heard from PR & Policy besides them asking you for updates (in 2 months). A week before you go out on vacation, you see a meeting pop up at 4:30pm PST on your calendar (this popped up at around 2pm). No one would tell you what the meeting was about in advance. Then in that meeting your manager’s manager tells you “it has been decided” that you need to retract this paper by next week, Nov. 27, the week when almost everyone would be out (and a date which has nothing to do with the conference process). You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company.
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Western Fardelshufflestein
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Postby Western Fardelshufflestein » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:39 pm

Kowani wrote:
Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:Oof. Added context would really be helpful in this situation.

Okay, I got the original email.

My initial hunch was right:
Have you ever heard of someone getting “feedback” on a paper through a privileged and confidential document to HR? Does that sound like a standard procedure to you or does it just happen to people like me who are constantly dehumanized?

Imagine this: You’ve sent a paper for feedback to 30+ researchers, you’re awaiting feedback from PR & Policy who you gave a heads up before you even wrote the work saying “we’re thinking of doing this”, working on a revision plan figuring out how to address different feedback from people, haven’t heard from PR & Policy besides them asking you for updates (in 2 months). A week before you go out on vacation, you see a meeting pop up at 4:30pm PST on your calendar (this popped up at around 2pm). No one would tell you what the meeting was about in advance. Then in that meeting your manager’s manager tells you “it has been decided” that you need to retract this paper by next week, Nov. 27, the week when almost everyone would be out (and a date which has nothing to do with the conference process). You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company.

Would a "privileged" document be a condescending corporate email from the leaders of Google? I honestly think Google should be Sherman Antitrust Act-ed, seeing as it's literally designed to protect consumers from monopolies and corruption. Again, still a capitalist, but Google is sus.
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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:45 pm

Kowani wrote:
Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:Oof. Added context would really be helpful in this situation.

Okay, I got the original email.

My initial hunch was right:
Have you ever heard of someone getting “feedback” on a paper through a privileged and confidential document to HR? Does that sound like a standard procedure to you or does it just happen to people like me who are constantly dehumanized?

Imagine this: You’ve sent a paper for feedback to 30+ researchers, you’re awaiting feedback from PR & Policy who you gave a heads up before you even wrote the work saying “we’re thinking of doing this”, working on a revision plan figuring out how to address different feedback from people, haven’t heard from PR & Policy besides them asking you for updates (in 2 months). A week before you go out on vacation, you see a meeting pop up at 4:30pm PST on your calendar (this popped up at around 2pm). No one would tell you what the meeting was about in advance. Then in that meeting your manager’s manager tells you “it has been decided” that you need to retract this paper by next week, Nov. 27, the week when almost everyone would be out (and a date which has nothing to do with the conference process). You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company.


That is not the email of someone who wants to work for Google, I'd fire her too.

Though if a 4:30 meeting is called at 2:00. I decline the meeting.
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Wink Wonk We Like Stonks
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Postby Wink Wonk We Like Stonks » Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:03 pm

Kowani wrote:
Western Fardelshufflestein wrote:Oof. Added context would really be helpful in this situation.

Okay, I got the original email.

My initial hunch was right:
Have you ever heard of someone getting “feedback” on a paper through a privileged and confidential document to HR? Does that sound like a standard procedure to you or does it just happen to people like me who are constantly dehumanized?

Imagine this: You’ve sent a paper for feedback to 30+ researchers, you’re awaiting feedback from PR & Policy who you gave a heads up before you even wrote the work saying “we’re thinking of doing this”, working on a revision plan figuring out how to address different feedback from people, haven’t heard from PR & Policy besides them asking you for updates (in 2 months). A week before you go out on vacation, you see a meeting pop up at 4:30pm PST on your calendar (this popped up at around 2pm). No one would tell you what the meeting was about in advance. Then in that meeting your manager’s manager tells you “it has been decided” that you need to retract this paper by next week, Nov. 27, the week when almost everyone would be out (and a date which has nothing to do with the conference process). You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company.

would be nice for the op to actually show the context...
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