Google Fires Top AI Researcher

( Google is at it again. Just this week, the tech giant fired one of its researchers who questioned a paper that the company published regarding the abilities of one type of artificial intelligence that is used to make computer chips.
The research paper stated that computers had the ability to design specific parts of computer chips better and faster than humans are able to. It was published in Nature, which is a scientific journal, last year.
A team of scientists that was led by researcher Satrajit Chatterjee challenged that paper. However, Google fired him back in March after the company notified his team they wouldn’t publish a paper they wrote that rebutted many of the claims that were made in the Nature publication.
That’s according to multiple people who were close to the situation, but who weren’t permitted to openly speak on the situation, as the New York Times recently reported.
In a written statement, Google confirmed Chatterjee was “terminated with cause.”
This firing comes roughly two years after the tech giant also fired two other researchers who criticized biases that are built into AI systems.
While Google wouldn’t elaborate on the latest firing of a researcher, it did thoroughly defend the research that Chatterjee was criticizing. They also defended their decision to not publish the researcher’s assessment of the paper.
In a written statement, Google Research’s vice president, Zoubin Ghahramani, said:
“We thoroughly vetted the original Nature paper and stand by the peer-reviewed results. We also rigorously investigated the technical claims of a subsequent submission, and it did not meet our standards for publication.”
Google has faced many complaints regarding how the company creates, uses and then portrays computer automation technologies. Over the last few years, it has spent billions of dollars hiring some of the best researchers in the world to create new AI technology.
But, the dismissals of the two researchers two years ago, plus the recent dismissal of Chatterjee, goes to show just how much discord there is regarding the company’s AI research group, known as Google Brain.
The Times reported that Chatterjee’s dismissal follows a pattern that’s becoming all too familiar for the company. Multiple researchers at the company have now claimed wrongdoing on YouTubebehalf of Google’s AI efforts.
Still, Google is pressing forward wholeheartedly in its investment into AI technology. Sundar Pichai, who serves as the chief executive of Alphabet — the parent company of Google — has said in the past that AI is one of the most important endeavors for humankind, comparing it to the arrival of fire and electricity.
More than 10 years ago, Google Brain was created as only a side project. Researchers built the system that eventually learned to recognize cats that appeared in videos on .
Executives at the company were so enthralled with the potential that machines could eventually learn their own skills that they rapidly invested in the lab. The goal started to become that Google Brain, and AI technologies, would fuel Google going forward and help remake the company.