Second Google AI ethics leader fired, she says amid staff protest

Second Google AI ethics leader fired, she says amid staff protest

Second Google AI ethics leader fired, she says amid staff protest

FILE PHOTO: Letters spell the word “Alphabet” as they are seen on a computer screen with a Google search page in this photo illustration taken in Paris, France, August 11, 2015. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google fired researcher Margaret Mitchell on Friday, they both said, after a weeks-long investigation found she moved electronic files outside the company amid a battle over research freedom and diversity.

Google said in a statement Mitchell violated the company’s code of conduct and security policies. Mitchell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google’s ethics in artificial intelligence research unit has been under scrutiny since December’s dismissal of Black scientist Timnit Gebru, which prompted protest from thousands of Google workers. She and Mitchell, who is white, had called for more diversity among Google’s research staff and expressed concern that the company was starting to censor research critical of its products.

Mitchell and Gebru co-led the team for about two years.

Reporting by Paresh Dave and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman