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Microsoft has fired the ethics team at its artificial intelligence division. This is reported by Platformer. Recall that until March 31, 2023, the company was going to cut about 10 thousand employees, and these layoffs are also part of the plan.
Thus, Microsoft has lost a team that ensures the close connection of the principles of using AI with the design of final products. However, there is still an Office of Responsible AI team that creates rules and guidelines to govern AI initiatives.
Microsoft says the following in a statement:
Microsoft is committed to the safe and responsible development of AI products and capabilities, and does so by investing in people, processes, and partnerships that prioritize it. Over the past six years, we have grown the number of people in our manufacturing teams and the Office of Responsible AI team who, along with all of us at Microsoft, are responsible for putting our AI principles into practice. (…) We appreciate the pioneering work that the ethics team has done to help us realize the principles of responsible AI.
According to Microsoft employees, the ethics team played an important role in implementing the principles of responsible AI in the development of products that are then made available to ordinary consumers. “Our job was to explain the rules to (developers) and create new ones in areas where there were none,” said one former member of the ethics team.