Marian Croak. Image credit: US Patent and Trademark Office
Croak, who had been a VP at Google for the past six years working on projects like site reliability engineering and bringing public Wi-Fi to India’s railroads, will now oversee the newly created center of expertise on responsible AI within Google Research. In this role, she will be responsible for leading the company’s efforts to responsibly develop artificial intelligence that has a positive impact on the world.
Before taking on the massive task of leading Google’s ethical AI team, Croak, a six-year Google veteran, had been tasked with a range of projects from site reliability engineering to bringing public Wi-Fi to India’s railroads.
In a blog post announcing her promotion, Croak said, “I’m excited to be able to galvanize the brilliant talent that we have at Google working on this. We have to make sure we have the frameworks and the software and the best practices designed by the researchers and the applied engineers ... so we can proudly say that our systems are behaving in responsible ways.”
She went on to say, “I am thrilled to support teams doing both pure research as well as applied research — both are valuable and absolutely necessary to ensure technology has a positive impact on the world."
Google’s reshuffle of its AI research team's reporting structure follows the ousting of ethics researcher Timnit Gebru, which has caused employees to challenge the company's position on free research and tolerance of dissent. Last month Gebru's former ethical AI team co-lead, Margaret Mitchell, was reportedly locked out of her corporate account after she was allegedly found to be downloading material related to Gebru's departure.
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