Dr. Margaret Mitchell, founder of Google Ethical AI Team, terminated after reporting equity issues of race and gender and opposing the firing of co-lead of Ethical AI Research Team Dr. Timnit Gebru


Dr. Margaret Mitchell, founder and co-lead of Google’s Ethical AI research team with Dr. Timnit Gebru, provided fuller context regarding events leading up to her termination in February 2021. Dr. Mitchell confirmed that, before and after Google’s termination of Dr. Gebru, she was vocally raising concerns of race and gender equity at Google, including publicly opposing the mistreatment and firing of her co-lead. 

Regarding her own termination from Google, Dr. Mitchell explained: “I tried to use my position to raise concerns about race and gender inequity, and to protest Google’s deeply problematic firing of Dr. Timnit Gebru.  To now be fired has been devastating.  It’s my hope that speaking out will lead to one more step on the path of ethical AI. ”

Shortly after Dr. Mitchell voiced her concerns that discrimination played a role in Google’s decision to terminate her Black colleague, Google placed Dr. Mitchell on leave and revoked her corporate access, finally firing her on February 19, 2021. 

Commenting at the time the termination first became public, Dr. Mitchell’s attorney Sharon Vinick stated “You seriously have to wonder what kind of message Google is trying to send to its employees of color and their allies.  In its policies, the company encourages its employees to speak up.  Terminating Dr. Mitchell will have a chilling effect on employees who want to advocate equality and fairness.”

 Dr. Mitchell attended The John Hopkins University Human Language Technology Center of Excellence as a Postdoctoral researcher and holds a Ph.D. from University of Aberdeen and a Master’s Degree from the University of Washington in Computational Linguistics. 

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