Tech News: Apple hires Google’s most prominent AI veteran who left after ethics turmoil.
Apple hired Google AI veteran Samy Bengio. Bengio was one of the most important employees of the company who resigned following the firing of two researchers. Reuters, which broke the news, noted that Bengio will lead a new artificial intelligence research unit Apple, reuniting it with the former great Google and current Apple VP of Machine Learning and AI Strategy – John Giannandrea.
Bengio left Google last week after 14 years following the controversial layoff of two ethical AI co-leads who reported to him, Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell. Both researchers were staunch advocates of diversity in their fields and had separately warned about the dangers of grand language models and algorithmic bias. Their resignation sparked internal outrage at the research giant and the wider academic AI fraternity.
In a statement published on Facebook after Gebru’s resignation, Bengio said he was stunned and had been alongside Timnit and the rest of his team. In February, Google reorganized its AI ethics research unit by putting Dr. Marian Croak at the head, a move that reduced Bengio’s tasks, according to Bloomberg.
For Apple, Bengio’s hiring is the latest in a series of AI talent acquisitions by Google, which is looking to bolster its machine learning capabilities through recruiting and acquisitions. Bengio was a senior member of the Google Brain research team, which provided groundbreaking breakthroughs in artificial intelligence in brain mapping, image upscaling, and accessibility.