A Google researcher who oversaw the ethics group for artificial intelligence (AI) resigned on Tuesday after the controversial dismissal of two of his former colleagues in the research team, Bloomberg reported.
The researcher, Samy Bengio, announced that he would travel in an email to employees obtained by Bloomberg. Bengio’s last day will be April 28, the outlet reported.
“While I look forward to my next challenge, there is no doubt that it is very difficult to leave this fantastic team,” Bengio reportedly wrote in the email.
In its message, Bengio did not refer to Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, two of his former colleagues who led Google̵
Google reorganized the research unit in February, placing the remaining ethical AI team members under Marian Croak and cutting Bengio’s responsibilities, Bloomberg reported.
Gebru in December said she was fired from Google after being asked to withdraw a paper co-authored with Mitchell and other Google researchers, detailing ethical considerations for an AI technology used in Google’s search engine.
Google has called Gebru’s dismissal an acceptance of her resignation.
After Mitchell had expressed concerns about Gebru’s dismissal on Twitter, she was fired from her position.
Google said Mitchell was fired for violating several company policies.
Following Gebru’s dismissal, thousands of Google employees gathered behind the researcher and signed a petition to protest the decision.
Bengio allegedly wrote on Facebook in December that he was amazed that Gebru was removed without his consultation.
A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.