Tech companies cut AI ethics teams

Tech companies cut AI ethics teams

The exponential development of artificial intelligence has caused multiple figures to call for a halt to this scientific advance to determine the way through regulations and not to provoke a negative impact on the population. However, the companies responsible for these advances seem to be disconnected from it, because precisely the teams in charge of providing security, those in charge of ethics, are being laid off.

Microsoft, Google, Meta y Amazon continue to go through layoff processes in their offices and, citing the pursuit of efficiency, let go of workers who may be key to a safe and reliable development of the already upcoming AI industry.


Currently, the largest company in AI advances is OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, a bot that, through this system, converses, creates and gives information to users.

However, Microsoftthe main investor behind it, fired its entire ethics and partnership team that led the initial work in the area.

Google is trying to compete to GPT-4 with its own AI called Bard. But it recently eliminated a large number of ethical AI supervisory positions amid Alphabet’s group of 12,000 laid-off employees.

“It’s shocking how many members of the teams on responsible AI are being laid off,” says Andrew Strait, director of the Ada Lovelace Institute, which is dedicated to ensuring the conscious development of the artificial intelligence. Strait was also an ethics and policy researcher at DeepMind, another Alphabet subsidiary. He stressed that “these groups are needed today more than ever.”

Meta, in September last year, disengaged 20 engineers and specialists tasked with monitoring civil rights and ethics at Instagram and Facebook.

A necessity

Just this Wednesday, tech personalities such as Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak have joined in an open letter to call for “a pause” to artificial intelligence training for at least “6 months” for all systems that can be more powerful than GPT-4, the most popular at present.

For this community, the artificial intelligence can generate a profound impact on society, so its development must be accompanied in a responsible and regulated manner.

The aim is that “a step backwards to make today’s powerful state-of-the-art systems more accurate, secure, interpretable, transparent, robust, aligned, reliable and loyal”.

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Daniel Chapman