A former Google researcher, who said she was fired after pointing out the biases in AI, has warned that the current AI "gold rush" means companies won't "self-regulate" unless they are pressured.
Timnit Gebru, a computer scientist who specializes in artificial intelligence, was co-lead at Google's ethical AI team before a clash with the company resulted in her being ousted in 2020. Gebru opened up about her experience with The Guardian in an interview published Monday.
The 40-year-old, who also had stints at Apple and Microsoft, explained that the hype around AI means safeguards are being cast to the side.
"Unless there is external pressure to do something different, companies are not just going to self-regulate," she told The Guardian. "We need regulation and we need something better than just a profit motive."
"It feels like a gold rush," Gebru added. "In fact, it is a gold rush. And a lot of the people who are making money are not the people actually in the midst of it. But it's humans who decide whether all this should be done or not. We should remember that we have the agency to do that."