Ex-Google scientist Gebru opens AI institute year after tumultuous exit

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December 2 (Businesshala) – Computer scientist Timnit Gebrew, whose controversial exit from Google’s (GOOGL.O) artificial intelligence research team prompted debate in the tech industry about diversity and censorship, said on Thursday that he wanted to continue his work. A small laboratory has been started for at liberty.

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Gebru said the Distributed AI Research Institute has raised $3.7 million from the foundation and aims to critically study the services of big tech companies and propose AI-based solutions to issues such as food insecurity and climate change.

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It joins several non-governmental projects such as the Algorithmic Justice League that are advancing the ethical use of AI. Critics worry that mass surveillance and racial discrimination could result without proper safeguards, including facial recognition and credit scoring.

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Gebru has hired a fellow in South Africa and hopes to add other researchers next year. They will publish studies and educate activists and parliamentarians globally.

“I want to make sure About this Not just working on research papers,” Gebru said. “I want to be an institution that realizes that you have to connect with different groups of people.”

Gebru, who is black, has said that Google called him a year ago for criticizing the lack of workforce diversity and for publishing a paper he co-authored on the potential social and environmental costs of language technology. was fired for fighting. Google has said it has accepted Gebru’s resignation.

His speaking of the event was praised by many scientists and engineers, but others questioned his work and strategy. Later, the Alphabet Inc. unit Google reorganized the ethical AI research team, led by Gebru, fired its co-leader and lost the pair’s manager to Apple.

Freedom to pursue whatever Gebru did to start DAIR when joining another company. But maintaining it without being subject to sponsors or other powers would be the challenge, she said. Early supporters include MacArthur, Ford and the Rockefeller Foundation.

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Reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by David Gregorio

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