Microsoft fires AI ethics team

by nativetechdoctor
2 minutes read

Although it is investing in promoting artificial intelligence (AI) products, the ethics and social group for AI has just been fired by Microsoft.

According to Platformer, Microsoft has fired an entire team dedicated to guiding AI innovation to deliver ethical, responsible, and sustainable results. The cuts are part of a recent series of layoffs that have affected 10,000 employees across the company.

The removal of this team comes as Microsoft invests billions more in its partnership with OpenAI, the startup behind the art and text-generation AI systems including ChatGPT and DALL-E 2, and improves the technology of the company. search engine Bing and Edge web browser to integrate a new next-generation large language model that it describes as more powerful than ChatGPT and specifically customized for search.

The move raises questions about Microsoft’s commitment to ensuring product design and its AI principles are inextricably linked at a time when the company is providing controversial AI tools to the masses. they.

Despite the layoffs, Microsoft maintains the Office of Responsible AI (ORA), which sets the rules for responsible AI through governance and public policy. But according to Platformer, the ethical and social team is responsible for ensuring Microsoft’s responsible AI principles in the design of products. Most recently, this group worked to identify risks from integrating OpenAI technology across Microsoft’s product suite.

Its ethics and social team have only about 7 people left after restructuring in October 2022. A source from Platformer said that pressure from CTO Kevin Scott and CEO Satya Nadella is increasing to get access to the latest OpenAI models, in order to get them into the hands of customers as quickly as possible.

Last year, the restructuring of the organization caused most of the ethics and social groups to be transferred to other groups. On March 6, John Montgomery, the company’s Vice President of AI, told the rest of the team that they would be fired.

Team members told Platformer they were fired because Microsoft was more focused on delivering its AI products ahead of the competition and less interested in thinking long-term, and socially responsible.

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