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Daily Archives: February 22, 2021
London Gateway is now the UK port of call for two new major international shipping services – Fleet Transport
Posted: February 22, 2021 at 2:47 pm
DP WORLD has announced that London Gateway, Britains fastest growing container terminal, is now the UK port of call for two new major international shipping services, connecting the economies of Western Europe with the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and Russia.
DP World the leading provider of smart logistics solutions has created an integrated business in the UK comprising two deep water ports with freight rail terminals at London Gateway and Southampton, meaning greater flexibility and choice for shipping lines and cargo owners.
London Gateway is now the UK port of call for Sealand-Maersks North Sea service, which connects the key economies of Northern Europe with the Eastern Mediterranean. Previously calling at the Suffolk coast, this major international shipping service has a 42-day rotation stretching from Western Europe to Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. After London Gateway, the service calls at Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Hamburg, Antwerp, Limassol, Ashdod, Alexandria, Haifa, Mersin, and finally at Port Said East before returning to London Gateway.
Also, London Gateway last month became the UK port of call for Unifeeders new St Petersburg service. Increasing its UK service in response to a growing demand for multimodal transportation, Unifeeder has introduced an additional loop connecting the Benelux and Russian markets with Britain. London Gateway is the preferred import hub because of its proximity to the capitals consumer market and is becoming a vital gateway for Shortsea and Feeder shipments to and from the UK. The new service has fixed day weekly connections on a rotation from London to Antwerp, St Petersburg, Bremerhaven and then back to London, offering connectivity with the entire Unifeeder network with multiple transhipment options.
Ernst Schulze, CEO of DP World in the UK, said: We are delighted to welcome two new services to the most technologically advanced and fastest growing container port in the UK. We have the capacity to continue to prioritise delivering first class services for all existing customers at the same time as handling new sailings which expand customer choice.
DP World in the UK is committed to being at the heart of Britains trading future, providing the right trading infrastructure and smart logistical solutions for our customers. We believe in the UK market and have the ambition and the resources to boost growth, support businesses, create jobs and improve living standards.
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Posted: at 2:46 pm
This artist's illustration shows a "sky crane" gently lowering Perseverance to the surface of Mars.
NASA successfullylanded its most advanced rover ever on the surface of another planet this week. The Mars 2020 Perseverance roveris the fifth such rolling robot the space agency has sent to the red planet, and when the mission is over, it will have cost nearly $3 billion.
With a pandemic bringing everyday existence on the surface of our own planet to arguably its lowest point since humans entered the space age several decades ago, it's fair to wonder why we're devoting any resources to sending our best tech to explore a cold, dead desert planet bathed in radiation.
There are actually a number of arguments that range from the philosophical to more practical. Here are three for those who can't fathom how sending a nerdy dune buggy carrying a tiny helicopter on a 100-million-mile road trip is justifiable.
There's some evidence suggesting our two nearest planetary neighbors, Mars and Venus, were once habitable. Today, they're both deadly places, though the dangers of Mars are at least theoretically manageable through technology and perhaps some ambitious terraforming.
Perseverance landed in Jezero Crater, which is thought to have once been the site of a large river delta flowing into a crater lake. Conditions may have been right for life, which the rover hopes to find evidence of.
This Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image shows the Jezero Crater delta region.
But something happened. Mars lost much of its atmosphere and it dried up and became the colder, inhospitable world we know today.
Somewhere in this past there might be some lessons and cautionary tales for earthlings. If our two closest neighbors were transformed from more friendly climes to the relative hellscapes they are today, we should want to know more about what happened. It's certainly worth more than one visit.
A visible green line reflected by oxygen molecules is seen at the edge of Earth's atmosphere.
We imagine Earth as a big floating ball teeming with life, but the reality is more tenuous. When viewed from orbit, a greenish line of glowing oxygen marking the edge of our atmosphere is visible above our planet. This glowing line reveals the true fragility of our planet's habitable zone, which is not the entire planet, but rather a small bubble on its surface extending from roughly sea level to a few miles in altitude, and not really including the polar regions, either.
When seen this way, it almost feels as though that bubble could easily pop. It happened on Mars, so maybe it could happen here.
I'm paraphrasing John F. Kennedy -- doing the hard things because they are hard -- speaking about the Apollo project to put humans on the moon. It's not an entirely honest justification for spending the big chunk of the US budget that was dropped on NASA to get us there, however.
The dawn of the space age, the Apollo program and the breathtaking speed with which we went from fully earthbound to hitting golf balls on the moon was motivated in no small part by military and geopolitical concerns.
It's easy to look back and think that we wasted a significant chunk of our gross domestic product on a Cold War space race that was more about ego and national pride than science and exploration. It's a fair criticism. But whatever the motivation, the results were more than just bragging rights and a flag in the Sea of Tranquility.
By going to space, we have revolutionized life on Earth.
The ways this is true are too numerous to list, so think of just one: What began with the terrifying (to Americans) successful launch of the Soviet bucket of bolts named Sputnik eventually created our modern lifestyle that depends on thousands of successor satellites beaming all our information, images, transactions and communications around the world at light speed.
What started as technological muscle flexing between global powers has changed countless aspects of the daily life of billions of humans.
Exploring Mars involves overcoming countless challenges through engineering and innovation, not to mention Perseverance and Ingenuity. What we learn from the successes and failures of meeting those challenges may spark the next revolution that will make life in 2071 beyond anything we can imagine right now.
Elon Musk's goal is to establish a city on Mars.
You've already heard this one. Elon Musk, one of the richest dudes in history, wants to build a city on Mars and make humans a "multiplanetary" species or something like that. Part of this argument is that Earth is not nearly as safe and secure as it seems. Massive solar flares, impact by a comet, nuclear annihilation, environmental collapse and perhaps catastrophes we haven't even thought of are all very much possibilities, so it makes sense to have a backup plan.
That's the pessimistic version of this case that's easiest to argue. But we rarely hear the other side of this vision argued, which is more in line with the Star Trek ethic: "To boldly go..."
From the lab to your inbox. Get the latest science stories from CNET every week.
These days it can be hard to even talk about setting up shop on Mars because the words I might use to describe such an activity have become justifiably taboo -- words like colonize, settle and occupy. It's true that the history of human expansion is littered with horrors, and Musk using the fear of an uncertain future to sell a new kind of colonialism does give me pause.
But I don't think that's the right way to look at it, and it's not how the people behind Perseverance think about it. The mission's goals are strictly about scientific discovery and technological demonstration. So much so that some of the wonder of what's actually being accomplished can get lost.
Think about how you, as an individual, have grown as a person each time you visit a new place or experience something new. Your first day of school, first time outside your town or state, first plane ride, first time abroad, etc.
I remember one particular jet-lagged morning in my twenties in a dirt cheap hostel in Thailand waking up before dawn and walking around a little neighborhood in Bangkok. Around every corner was something unfamiliar: words I couldn't understand, things being sold as food I never thought of as edible, people doing activities I couldn't identify as exercise or prayer or something in between.
It became clear that morning that I knew very, very little about the wider world. When I finally die or get uploaded to the cloud, I will hopefully be a bit less ignorant, but the same basic statement will certainly still be true.
Going to Mars and beyond could be the same sort of eye-opening experience for humanity as a species. Becoming multiplanetary doesn't have to be about having a backup plan, it could be about evolving and becoming better, wiser and a little less ignorant about the universe and our place in it.
FollowCNET's 2021 Space Calendarto stay up to date with all the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.
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The X-Men Are the ONLY Marvel Heroes Still Protecting an Avengers World – CBR – Comic Book Resources
Posted: at 2:46 pm
The latest issue of Wolverine: Black, Red & Blood features the X-Men tasked with a job that draws back to a prior Avengers story.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for "Red Planet Blues" from Wolverine: Black, White & Blood #3 by Jed MacKay, Jesus Saiz, and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Wolverine has gone down in comic history as one of the most beloved characters in the history of superheroes -- and for good reason. Since his introduction,James "Logan" Howlett has been immortalizedas a merciless killer with a heart of gold. The latest issue ofWolverine: Black, White & Blood follows up on a loose end from a fan-favorite Avengers run in "Red Planet Blues," which follows Magik and Wolverine as they teleport to Mars for an important mission.
An area of the Red Planet is covered in a generous amount of lush green vegetation, and as Logan runs through the forest, he recalls the events that lead to the Martian terraforming. The planet was transformed by the incredibly powerful Ex Nihilo in 2012'sAvengers #1 byJonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena.
Related:Wolverine vs Juggernaut: Logan's Latest Fight OFFICIALLY Made Marvel History
Avengers #1tackles the beginning of the universe and introduces the alien-gods Ex Nihilo and Abyss, who take it upon themselves to turn Mars into their vision of perfection. Later in the issue, The Avengers -- comprised primarily of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark -- travel to Mars to defeat the rising threat of Ex Nihilo after he sends an evolution-bomb to Earth to force an accelerated evolution upon the human race. The Avengers eventually decide to allow Ex Nihilo to reform Mars as long as he agrees to never interfere with the evolution of Earth.
Logan sneaks through the brush to find four scientists from M.A.I.M --Martian Advanced Ideas Mechanics -- who have traveled to Mars with the hopes of continuing Ex Nihilo's legacy. However, the situation becomes complicated when the humans use an assassin robot to sneak up on Logan and shoot a powerful laser beam into his eyes, rendering him completely blind. Unsurprisingly, Logan outsmarts the group of scientists, destroying the robot and then proceeding to eviscerate the four agents.
This story is a fascinating callback to another Marvel storyline made all the more interesting considering the fact that two X-Men were called to Mars in the first place. Before now, the developments on Mars had been a distinctly Avengers-centric storyline. But instead of having Iron Man and Captain America clean up their messWolverine is sent to clear Mars of the invading M.A.I.M. forces completely alone, with Magik only serving as his way on or off Red Planet.
Related:Wolverine Just Stole Rorschach's Best Watchmen Line
There could be multiple reasons for this, butit's possiblethat the Avengers are oftenheld backby the altruistic need to treat all threats fair and just. But when Wolverine comes on the scene, there is very little time for conversation -- andfor this specific situation, results were needed above all else, which is why the X-Men were probably called on instead of the Avengers.
The Avengers have shown that they are great at what they do, but sometimes a situation becomes so dire that the only way to resolve it is with extreme prejudice. And when a group of scientists decide that they can take use alien-god technology to alter humanity and create their own "perfect" society, the only appropriate response is a set of adamantium claws ripping through metal and flesh -- and only one man is capable of living up to such a response.
KEEP READING:Avengers: Endgame Director Knows How and When to Add Wolverine to the MCU
X-Men: A Classic Avengers Ally Is Part of House of X's Big Conspiracy
Zac Godwin is a Chaotic Good writer, runner, and novice wine connoisseur who tries to spend as much time out on the road as he does with a PlayStation controller in hand. A graduate from Penn State with a degree in Professional Writing, he now writes for Comic Book Resources as a feature writer
Posted: at 2:45 pm
The tech giant had also banned political ads on its platforms, including YouTube and Google search pages, after the 2020 election. | Richard Vogel/AP Photo
Google will lift its ban on political ads on Wednesday, ending a self-imposed prohibition that had been active since the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Google announced the decision in an email to political clients Monday morning. The tech giant had also banned political ads on its platforms, including YouTube and Google search pages, after the 2020 election as part of a broader effort to clamp down on political misinformation. Google will now return ads from campaigns and ads on political topics to those sites, which have seen nearly $750 million in advertising since the spring of 2018, according to Google's ad disclosure portal.
Facebook which temporarily and narrowly lifted its own political ad ban ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs in January before reimposing it once again has not yet announced when (or if) it will lift its own ban on political ads.
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Posted: at 2:45 pm
Two months after the jarring departure of a well-known artificial intelligence researcher at Google, a second A.I. researcher at the company said she was fired after criticizing the way it has treated employees who were working on ways to address bias and toxicity in its artificial intelligence systems.
Margaret Mitchell, known as Meg, who was one of the leaders of Googles Ethical A.I. team, sent a tweet on Friday afternoon saying merely: Im fired.
Google confirmed that her employment had been terminated. After conducting a review of this managers conduct, we confirmed that there were multiple violations of our code of conduct, read a statement from the company.
The statement went on to claim that Dr. Mitchell had violated the companys security policies by lifting confidential documents and private employee data from the Google network. The company said previously that Dr. Mitchell had tried to remove such files, the news site Axios reported last month.
Dr. Mitchell said on Friday evening that she would soon have a public comment.
Dr. Mitchells post on Twitter comes less than two months after Timnit Gebru, the other leader of the Ethical A.I. team at Google, said that she had been fired by the company after criticizing its approach to minority hiring as well as its approach to bias in A.I. In the wake of Dr. Gebrus departure from the company, Dr. Mitchell strongly and publicly criticized Googles stance on the matter.
More than a month ago, Dr. Mitchell said that she had been locked out of her work accounts. On Wednesday, she tweeted that she remained locked out after she tried to defend Dr. Gebru, who is Black.
Exhausted by the endless degradation to save face for the Upper Crust in tech at the expense of minorities lifelong careers, she wrote.
Dr. Mitchells departure from the company was another example of the rising tension between Googles senior management and its work force, which is more outspoken than workers at other big companies. The news also highlighted a growing conflict in the tech industry over bias in A.I., which is entwined with questions involving hiring from underrepresented communities.
Todays A.I. systems can carry human biases because they learn their skills by analyzing vast amounts of digital data. Because the researchers and engineers building these systems are often white men, many worry that researchers are not giving this issue the attention it needs.
Google announced in a blog post yesterday that an executive at the company, Marian Croak, who is Black, will oversee a new group inside the company dedicated to responsible A.I.
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Posted: at 2:45 pm
Google is changing its policies related to research and diversity after completing an internal investigation into the firing of ethical AI team co-leader Timnit Gebru, according to Axios. The company intends to tie the pay of certain executives to diversity and inclusivity goals. Its also making changes to how sensitive employee exits are managed.
Although Google did not reveal the results of the investigation, the changes seem to be direct responses to how the situation with Gebru went down. After Google demanded that a paper she co-authored be retracted, Gebru told research team management that she would resign from her position and work on a transition plan, unless certain conditions were met. Instead of a transition plan, the company immediately ended her employment while she was on vacation. This sparked backlash from members of her team, and even caused some Google engineers to quit in protest.
Google had claimed that Gebrus paper was not submitted properly, though the research team disagreed. Google has now said it will streamline its process for publishing research, according to Axios, but the exact details of the policy changes werent given.
In an internal email to staff, Jeff Dean, head of AI at Google, wrote:
I heard and acknowledge what Dr. Gebrus exit signified to female technologists, to those in the Black community and other underrepresented groups who are pursuing careers in tech, and to many who care deeply about Googles responsible use of AI. It led some to question their place here, which I regret.
He also apologized for how Gebrus exit was handled, although he stopped short of calling it a firing.
The policy changes come a day after Google restructured its AI teams, a change which members of the ethical AI team were the last to know about, according to research scientist Alex Hanna, who is a part of the team.
Google declined to share the updated policies with The Verge, instead pointing to Axioss article for details.
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Posted: at 2:45 pm
The customer acquisition game has changed in the last year for DTC brands, with customer acquisition costs fluctuating and e-commerce becoming the dominant retail channel. Two-year-old DTC brand Xena Workwear is an online-only brand thats managed to ride some of those changes to a year of growth. Its annual sales increased by more than 1,000% in 2020, and the company hit a milestone of selling 1,000 pairs of boots per month.
Xena CMO Eugene Furman attributed the growth to efficient use of Google Shopping and Google search ads, which along with Facebook ads, make up more than 75% of the brands marketing budget. While Amazon is where many consumers begin their search, he said hed rather invest in Google because of the wealth of data it provides, compared to Amazon.
Amazon controls all of your data, Furman said. If someone searches [your brand] on Amazon, all the data goes to Amazon. They control everything. They may share it with you, but theyre trying to drive sales on their own site. But Google drives to your site, and they want to promote you. Amazon is sort of like renting, and Google is like owning. We just get a lot more data from Google about whos searching for us, how many people clicked through and what [search] terms are pointing to us.
Furman said Xena has been increasing its ad spend on Google, up to several thousand dollars per day from just over $1,000, over the last six months. In that time, 90% of the customers who landed on the site via Google Shopping were new customers, and the brand saw a 10x return on investment off the total ad spend.
But Furman said growing through Google isnt as simple as putting more money in.
The basic goal is to increase spend and continue seeing returns, Furman said. Its actually a little difficult to scale that, though. I cant just pour $1 million into Google overnight and expect to see $1 million worth of return. The algorithm needs time to adjust and serve your ads to the right people, which takes time. Increasing your spend by a lot, all at once, gives you diminishing returns. So were trying to increase our spend on Google ads slowly, but steadily. Were up to a few thousand dollars per day, which is pretty significant as you can imagine, but as long as we continue to see returns, well keep growing that spend.
Furman said as the brand has grown, its expanded what ad words its using from solely branded terms to adjacent terms, like horseback riding.
Google has made changes to how its Shopping tab works in the last year, making it free to sell on Google in April of 2020 and ceasing commission charges for Google Shopping sales in June. Now, it costs nothing for brands to have their products listed on Google, though they can still pay for sponsored listings at the top of a Google search page. While paid listings still beat out free listings and the usual SEO strategies are at work for determining the order of search results, Google presents this change as a win-win for all involved.
For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs, said Bill Ready, president of commerce at Google. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings.
Brands have largely returned to spending on Google ads in the last quarter, after pulling back from a lot of digital spending throughout 2020. In the quarter ending at the beginning of February, Googles search and ad revenue was $31.9 billion, up from $27.2 billion in the previous quarter.
Posted: at 2:45 pm
Google has fired Margaret Mitchell, co-lead of the ethical AI team, after she used an automated script to look through her emails in order to find evidence of discrimination against her coworker Timnit Gebru. The news was first reported by Axios.
Mitchells firing comes one day after Google announced a reorganization to its AI teams working on ethics and fairness. Marian Croak, a vice president in the engineering organization, is now leading a new center of expertise on responsible AI within Google Research, according to a blog post.
Mitchell joined Google in 2016 as a senior research scientist, according to her LinkedIn. Two years later, she helped start the ethical AI team alongside Gebru, a renowned researcher known for her work on bias in facial recognition technology.
In December 2020, Mitchell and Gebru were working on a paper about the dangers of large language processing models when Megan Kacholia, vice president of Google Brain, asked that the article be retracted. Gebru pushed back, saying the company needed to be more open about why the research wasnt acceptable. Shortly afterwards, she was fired, though Google characterized her departure as a resignation.
After Gebrus termination, Mitchell became openly critical of Google executives, including Google AI division head Jeff Dean and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. In January, she lost her corporate email access after Google began investigating her activity.
After conducting a review of this managers conduct, we confirmed that there were multiple violations of our code of conduct, as well as of our security policies, which included the exfiltration of confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees, Google said in a statement to Axios about Mitchells firing.
On Friday, Google announced it was making changes to its research and diversity policies, following an investigation into Gebrus termination. In an internal email, Jeff Dean apologized to staff for how Gebrus departure was handled. I heard and acknowledge what Dr. Gebrus exit signified to female technologists, to those in the Black community and other underrepresented groups who are pursuing careers in tech, and to many who care deeply about Googles responsible use of AI. It led some to question their place here, which I regret, he said.
The ethical AI team has been in crisis since Gebrus firing in December. After the reorganization announcement yesterday, senior researcher Alex Hanna wrote that the team was not aware of Croaks appointment until the news broke publicly Wednesday night. We were told to trust the process, trust in decision-makers like Marian Croak to look out for our best interests, she said on Twitter. But these decisions were made behind our backs.
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Posted: at 2:45 pm
Tech companies including Facebook and Google have released the final version of a long-awaited industry code to address the spread of misinformation on their services in Australia.
The release comes only days after Facebook blocked Australians from viewing and sharing "news content" on its platform, leading experts to predict that misinformation would spread more rapidly in the news vacuum.
The code could change the experience of using social media in Australia, with more pop-up warnings about fake news, as well as better systems to report misinformation.
Misinformation is false or misleading information, and disinformation is the same, but spread with an intent to mislead.
In December 2019, the Australian Government asked the digital industry to develop a code to address disinformation. A pandemic later, these companies, represented by the industry association DIGI, have now released a final version.
Under the code, which is voluntary, all signatories commit to develop and implement measures to deal with mis- and disinformation on their services.
The current signatories are Twitter, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, TikTok and Redbubble (an online marketplace for user-submitted art).
The emphasis of the code is on outcomes rather than specific actions: signatories will choose how to best address misinformation on their service.
The code gives examples of what they may do, including labelling false content, demoting the ranking of content, prioritising credible sources, suspension or disabling of accounts and removal of content.
The signatories will each publish an annual report on their progress.
The Australian media regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which is tasked with overseeing the development of the code, criticised this lack of specific measures or targets when DIGI released a draft version of the code in October 2020.
The ACMA has the power to recommend the government introduce mandatory regulation if the code isn't up to scratch.
But commenting on Monday on the release of the final version, which experts say is much the same as the draft one, the ACMA was broadly positive.
ACMA chairwoman Nerida O'Loughlin said she welcomed the code as a flexible and proportionate approach to dealing with mis- and disinformation online.
"The code anticipates platforms' actions will be graduated and proportionate to the risk of harm," she said.
"This will assist them to strike an appropriate balance between dealing with troublesome content and the right to freedom of speech and expression.
"Signatories will also publish an annual report and additional information on actions that they will take so that users know what to expect when they access these services."
The code also contains a range of non-mandatory objectives including having better systems for reporting incidents of misinformation, and disallowing fake news accounts from collecting advertising money.
The company debuts an overhaul of its core social network as it tries to move past a stream of scandals while tapping new revenue sources.
The final version of the code adds an extra objective that was not in the draft: to provide greater transparency about the source of political advertising on platforms.
Facebook and Google already publish real-time data on how much money parties and other groups are spending on political ads.
Andrea Carson, an associate professor in communication at La Trobe University, said the code was a good start and the companies should be given a chance to show how they will address disinformation.
"It's too premature to speak too much about it until we give the code a go and see how serious and sincere the companies are," she said.
"The platforms are still teenagers and it's taken a while for the laws to catch up and now we're getting into that space."
The ACMA will report to the government no later than 30 June 2021 on initial compliance with the code and its effectiveness.
Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said the government "will be watching carefully to see whether this voluntary code is effective".
The European Union oversaw the introduction of a voluntary industry code for disinformation in 2018, but is now looking at mandatory regulation.
A May 2020 independent review of the EU code found the self-regulatory nature of the agreement made it difficult for the platforms to be held to account for breaches in the code.
Reset Australia, an organisation working to counter digital threats to democracy, described the DIGI code as "pointless and shameless" and proposed in its place a public regulator with the power to issue fines and other penalties.
Reset Australia Executive Director Chris Cooper said companies such as Facebook were continuing to use algorithms that actively promote misinformation, despite committing to addressing the problem.
"This is a regulatory regime that would be laughed out of town if suggested by any other major industry," he said.
"Industry should never be allowed to just write its own rules."
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Google rethinks how it handles ‘sensitive’ employee exits after controversy over AI researcher’s departure | NewsChannel 3-12 – KEYT
Posted: at 2:45 pm
Google plans to change its approach for handling how certain employees leave the company after finishing a months-long review of the abrupt and controversial departure of prominent Black artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru.
Jeff Dean, Googles head of AI, announced several policy changes in an internal memo Friday, a copy of which was obtained by CNN Business. The changes include having HR employees review sensitive employee exits.
Dean also said the company will work to address diversity issues by more than doubling the staff that works on retaining Google employees. Additionally, he said Google will make diversity, equity and inclusion efforts part of the performance evaluations for Google employees at and above the vice-president level.
Axios was first to report the policy tweaks. Google declined to comment.
The memo marks the conclusion of an investigation that CEO Sundar Pichai announced to Google employees soon after Gebru left the company in December.
Until early December, when she abruptly left the company, Gebru was the co-leader of Googles Ethical AI team. A pioneer in the research of bias and inequality in AI, she was also one of few Black employees at the company overall (3.7% of Google employees are Black, according to the companys 2020 annual diversity report). The research scientist is also co-founder of the group Black in AI, which aims to increase representation of Black people in the field.
Gebru initially tweeted that she had been immediately fired for an email she had recently sent to Googles Brain Women and Allies internal mailing list. In the email she expressed dismay over the ongoing lack of diversity at the company and frustration over an internal process related to the review of a not-yet published research paper she coauthored. Dean wrote in an email to Google Research employees (which he also posted publicly) that the paper in question was not submitted for internal review far enough in advance of its deadline, and that it didnt meet our bar for publication.
In later tweets, Gebru clarified that no one at Google explicitly told her that she was fired. Rather, she said Google would not meet a number of her conditions for returning and accepted her resignation immediately because it felt that her email reflected behavior that is inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager.
Gebrus sudden exit sparked anger among many Google employees and others in the tech industry that continues to simmer months later, often exhibited via emotional posts on Twitter. This year, two Google employees quit over Gebrus exit. Margaret Mitchell, a Google researcher who until Gebrus abrupt departure co-led the group with her, was put on administrative leave in January, as she confirmed to CNN Business at the time.
In the memo on Friday, Dean said of Gebrus contentious exit that the company could have and should have handled this situation with more sensitivity and that he regrets that it led to some employees questioning whether they belong at Google.
Its important that the Research org, along with the rest of Google, is a place where everyone feels like they belong and has the opportunity to succeed, he wrote. He also said Google will clarify internally what its process is for publishing sensitive research going forward.
Gebru responded to the memo on Friday by tweeting, I write an email asking for things, I get fired, and then after a 3 month investigation, they say they should probably do some of the things I presumably got fired asking for, without holding anyone accountable for their actions.
A Google employee familiar with the situation who requested anonymity due to privacy concerns called Deans note a non-apology and said it sounds vague and hand-wavey.
I have no faith in it, the employee said.
The memo came a day after Google announced it shuffled the leadership of its responsible artificial intelligence efforts. Marian Croak, a Black woman who has been a vice president at the company for six years working on a range of projects including getting public Wi-Fi on railroads in India, will run a new center focused on responsible AI within Google Research.
Croak will report to Dean. Ten teams centered around AI ethics, fairness, and accessibility including the Ethical AI team will report to her.
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