Google AI research manager quit after two teams were fired

Google’s research manager Samy Bengio, who oversaw the company’s AI behavior group until the controversy that led to the dismissal of the two female leaders, resigned on Tuesday to pursue further opportunities.

Bengio, who was in charge of hundreds of researchers in the Google Brain team, announced his departure via an email to staff received by Bloomberg. His last day will be on April 28. AI-type expert known as machine learning, Bengio joined Google in 2007.

Ousted Ethical AI led Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell reported to Bengio and took him as their partner. In February, Google reorganized the research unit, placing the remaining members of the Ethical AI team under Marian Croak, cutting off Bengio’s works.

“While I’m looking forward to my next challenge, there’s no doubt it’s hard to leave this wonderful team,” Bengio wrote in an email. He did not mention April, Mitchell or the disagreement that led to their departure. Google declined to comment.

In November, then Mengio’s manager Megan Kacholia met with Gebru demanding that he withdraw a paper co-authored with Mitchell and other Google researchers criticizing AI technology that provided more Google search results. In early December, Google dismissed Gebru for what he called a shootout and Google called for his resignation. In February, the company fired Mitchell.

“The resignation of Samy Bengio is a huge loss to Google,” writes El Mahdi El Mhamdi, a Google Brain scientist who said Bengio helped build “one of the most important research teams in the industry since Bell Labs, which is also one of the biggest benefits.”

“I’ve learned a lot from all of you, in terms of machine learning, but also how difficult it is but how important it is to organize a large team of researchers to promote long-term research, testing, complexity, diversity inclusion,” Bengio wrote in his email.

Prior to joining Google, Bangio developed the Torch, an open source framework and a package of tools to improve machine learning skills. At Google, he was part of the TensorFlow team, building a competitive offering that surpassed Torchi in popularity.

Researchers for Facebook Inc. apply his previous work to his PyTorch library of AI tools. Bengio also published research in areas such as the study of the opposition machine, which provides false or misleading information to algorithms in an attempt to deceive or manipulate them.

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