Google AI manager resigns after controversial layoffs of two top researchers

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A Google researcher manager has resigned following the controversial layoffs of two women leaders in his organization. Samy Bengio, who oversaw the AI ​​ethics team ahead of a February reorganization, is leaving to pursue other opportunities, according to BloombergHis last day is April 28.

Bengio was a strong supporter of star AI ethics researchers Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, who previously co-led the AI ​​ethics team. Gebru was fired in December while working on a paper on the dangers of major language models. Mitchell was fired in February after using a script to search her emails for evidence of discrimination against Gebru.

In a statement on Facebook After firing, Bengio said he was “stunned” by what happened to Gebru.

The terminations sparked outrage in the tech industry, prompting multiple investigators refuse funding or other possibilities from Google. Two Google engineers also left the company in protest, citing Gebru’s resignation as the main reason for their resignation.

After Gebru’s departure, Google reorganized its research division and added the AI ​​ethics team led by Marian Croak, a leader in the engineering department. The move scrapped Bengio’s responsibilities Bloomberg

In his farewell letter to staff, Bengio reportedly said that while looking forward to his next challenge, it has been difficult to leave Google Brain. “I’ve learned so much with all of you, in terms of machine learning research of course, but also about how difficult but important it is to assemble a large team of researchers to carry out ambitious research, exploration, rigor, diversity and inclusion, He wrote. He didn’t mention Gebru’s or Mitchell’s layoffs.