On Thursday morning, after an outpouring of assist for Gebru on social media, Dean despatched an inside e-mail to Google’s AI group along with his account of the state of affairs. He mentioned that Gebru’s paper “didn’t meet our bar for publication” as a result of “it ignored too much relevant research.” He additionally mentioned that Gebru’s situations included “revealing the identities of every person who Megan and I had spoken to and consulted as part of the review of the paper and the exact feedback.”

“Given Timnit’s role as a respected researcher and a manager in our Ethical AI team, I feel badly that Timnit has gotten to a place where she feels this way about the work we’re doing,” he wrote. “I know we all genuinely share Timnit’s passion to make AI more equitable and inclusive.”

Neither Gebru, Dean, nor Google communications responded to requests for remark, and lots of particulars surrounding the precise development of occasions, or reason for termination, stay unclear. As they proceed to emerge, many have introduced renewed consideration to a November 30 tweet that Gebru pinned to the highest of her profile. “Is there anyone working on regulation protecting Ethical AI researchers, similar to whistleblower protection?” it reads. “Because with the amount of censorship & intimidation that goes on towards people in specific groups, how does anyone trust any real research in this area can take place?”