The recently formed union said that Google had suspended an artificial intelligence ethics researcher a few weeks after firing another member of the team.
The Alphabet Union, founded by employees of Google’s parent company, said in a statement this week that union member and lead researcher Margaret Mitchell was worried about being barred from entering the company.
According to Google’s statement on Axios, Mitchell was suspended because she downloaded and shared company documents. The statement stated that these documents were intended to show discriminatory treatment of Timnit Gebru, another member of the AI ethics team. The man was fired last year. .
The union said in a statement: “These are attacks on people trying to make Google technology more ethical.”
Google was criticized last month after Gebru was asked to withdraw his research paper.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment. Google said in a statement to Axios that Mitchell’s e-mail account has been locked, awaiting internal investigations into downloading a large number of files and sharing them with people outside the company.
Last month, there were more than 1,400 Google employees among the nearly 3,300 names in an online letter. The letter called on the tech giants to explain Gebru’s removal and the reason for her withdrawal of research.
The letter requires Google to make a “clear” commitment to the integrity of research and academic freedom.