Google reportedly tightens grip on research into ‘sensitive topics’ – TechCrunch

Google Is clearly on fire Ejecting a researcher whose work warned of bias in AI, and now A Reuters report Others, who do such work at the company, are said to have been asked to “strike a sensitive tone” and undergo additional review for research on “sensitive topics”.

Reuters, citing researchers in the company and internal documents, reports that Google has implemented new controls over the past year, including additional rounds for papers on certain topics and increased executive intervention in later stages of research is.

It appears that Dr. of course. Timneet Gabru, An AI researcher at Google, whose resignation appears to have been forced into a confusing situation after friction between him and the management that his team was working. (I have asked Gabru and Google to comment on the story.)

Among “sensitive” topics, according to an internal webpage viewed by Reuters, are: “oil industry, China, Iran, Israel, COVID-19, home security, insurance, location data, religion, self-driving vehicles, telecom and Systems that recommend or personalize web content. “

It is clear that many of these issues are indeed sensitive, although advising researchers to note that when addressing them seems nuanced considering the existence of ethics boards, peer reviews, and other simple controls on research is. A researcher who spoke to Reuters warned that such top-down interference from Google could soon be “brought to a serious problem of censorship”.

This is in addition to the core issue of important research being done under the aegis of a company, for which it may or may not be in their interest to publish. Naturally large private research institutes have long existed as organized scientific endeavors, but companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and others heavily influence fields such as AI and criticize their usefulness with compelling technologies There is good reason to avoid. From every roof.