Alphabet Inc.’s Google plans to double the size of its team researching artificial-intelligence ethics in the coming years, as the company seeks to strengthen a group that has had its credibility challenged by research controversies and personal defections.
Vice President of Engineering Marian Croak stated at the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival that the hires will increase the size of the responsible AI team that she leads to 200 researchers. Additionally, she stated that Alphabet Chief Executive Sunder Pichai has committed to boost the operating budget of a team tasked with evaluating code and product to prevent harm, discrimination and other issues with AI.
Google revealed in February that Ms. Croak would lead the AI ethics group after it fired the division’s co-head, Margaret Mitchell, for allegedly sharing internal documents with people outside the company. Ms. Mitchell’s exit followed criticism of Google’s suppression of research last year by an important member of the team, Timnit Gebru, who states that she was fired due to studies crucially of the company’s approach to AI. Mr. Pichai pledged an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ms. Gebru’s departures and stated that he would seek to restore trust.