Google has fired Margaret Mitchel, the co-lead of the ethics AI team after carrying out an internal investigation into her use of her corporate email. It is investigated that Mitchell made use of an automated script in order to look through her emails to find evidence of discrimination against her co-worker.
The reason why this matters was because Google was alaready making news and was under fire for wrongfully firing Timnit Gebru, the other co-lead employee in the team. Mitchell was looking into the corporate emails to find evidence to back up Gebru’s claim for discrimination and harassment. As a result of this, she was locked out of corporate email since a month. This news was first reported by Axios.
Since the firing of Gebru, the company has been under great problem as people has started questioning the actions of the company. Because of this, CEO of Google, Sundur Pichai said that the company is looking into the matter, however, no detailed report or inquiry has been released.
Google confirmed in a statement that Mitchell’s corporate email account will be locked and it said that the company will investigate why she downloaded large files and shared it with the people outside the organization. Google said:
“Our security systems automatically lock an employee’s corporate account when they detect that the account is at risk of compromise due to credential problems or when an automated rule involving the handling of sensitive data has been triggered. In this instance, yesterday our systems detected that an account had exfiltrated thousands of files and shared them with multiple external accounts. We explained this to the employee earlier today.” (Google)
Furthermore, Margaret Mitchell posted a Tweet earlier in Janaury which said:
“Say you have a problem with consistently alienating Black women and have caused serious damage in their lives. You could: A) try to undo that damage B) try to find more Black people to like you (the tokenism approach). Good luck…..”
After the termination of her co-worker, Mitchel became very critical of executives at Google including the CEO Sundur Pichai. After Google began investigating the matter, her corporate ID was blocked in January.
After Google announced the reorganization of its Artifical Intelligence teams working on fairness and ethics, the announcement of the termination of Margaret Mitchell made headlines. The new Team Lead will be Marian Croak who is a Vice President in an engineering organization.