In December 2020, Google fired Timnit Gebru, a former technical leader of the ethical AI team. The dismissal has resulted in protests from Google employees and AI researchers, but this time it turned out that Margaret Mitchell, a researcher he worked with, also fired.
Gebru, who was fired in December of last year, was forced to leave Google, such as being asked to withdraw his thesis or resign from Google. Google’s response to Google’s internal research and papers was distorted, and employee protests flooded, and Gebru was a black woman.
Mitchell, who was additionally fired this time, used Google’s in-house email script to search for discriminatory treatment of Gebru. On January 20, 2021, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has been criticizing Google, saying that he is looking for a black man who will be his ally about the report that he is scheduled to meet with a black dean of the university.
On January 20, Gebru posted on Twitter that Mitchell’s corporate account was locked and that he had never seen such a shameful company. Google said that the Mitchell account was locked because the Google security system automatically locks the account when it detects the risk of accessing confidential information or being compromised due to permission problems. Mitchell was stealing thousands of files and sharing it with external accounts. In words, they justified the account lockout.
On February 18, 2021, Google announced a reorganization of its work on AI ethics and appointed Marian Croak to lead the AI team. But Mitchell said that he was the first to know about the reorganization after seeing the report. Afterwards, Mitchell posted on Twitter that he had been fired on the morning of February 20 to announce that he had been fired from Google.
Google claims that Mitchell’s dismissal was done for justifiable reasons, saying, as a result of investigating Mitchell’s behavior within the company, it was confirmed that it violated security policies and codes of conduct, such as the leakage of confidential business documents and employee personal information. Related information can be found here .