Microsoft fired the entire Responsible AI team


As part of the massive layoffs, Microsoft has laid off the entire team responsible for developing ethical standards for responsible AI. Writes about it platformer.

The disbanded Ethics and Society Department was small, with about seven people remaining after a reorganization in October 2022.

On March 6, 2023, CVP of Artificial Intelligence John Montgomery announced the group’s final liquidation.

Microsoft said they continue to support the Office of Responsible AI (ORA), which sets the rules for responsible AI. However, employees believe that it was the ethics and society team that played a critical role in ensuring responsible AI in the company’s products.

“People have looked at the principles that come from ORA and said, ‘I don’t know how that applies.’ […] Our job was to show them and create rules in areas where they did not exist, ”said one of the former employees.

Platformer interlocutors also reported that they were under pressure from CTO Kevin Scott and CEO Satya Nadella. According to them, the management wanted to implement the latest OpenAI models in the company’s products as soon as possible.

The liquidation of the group came amid Microsoft’s increasing investment in OpenAI. In recent months, the tech giant has integrated a number of startup models into its own products like Bing, Azure, and Teams.

However, as he writes TechCrunchsuch a move calls into question the corporation’s commitment to the principles of responsible AI as the technology advances to the masses.

Probably, Microsoft intends to increase competition with the Google search engine. Previously in the company declaredthat each selected 1% of the market share will bring her an annual income of $ 2 billion.

Recall that in November 2022, Meta fired a team of machine learning researchers in the infrastructure stack.

In April 2021, Google AI co-founder Sami Bengio left the company. His departure was linked to the controversial dismissals of Timnita Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, two leading researchers in the ethics of artificial intelligence.

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