© 2024 AIDIGITALX. All Rights Reserved.

Google Employees Worried As AI Ethics Group Loses Leader, Gets Downsized

Major changes, uncertain implications, employees concerned, company states it will enhance oversight but no clarity yet on how. It seems like an evolving situation worth monitoring closely given Google's influential role in AI development.
Google Employees Worried As AI Ethics Group Loses Leader, Gets Downsized / aidigitalx
Google Employees Worried As AI Ethics Group Loses Leader, Gets Downsized / aidigitalx

Google’s Approach to Accelerated Innovation While Upholding Ethical Principles Through Robust Guardrails and Review Processes

It’s always interesting to see how companies navigate the evolving landscape of AI ethics. Google recently restructured and reduced the size of its Responsible AI team (RESIN) that reviews products and projects for adherence to ethical AI principles. The leader and some key members have left, concerning some employees about Google’s commitment to responsible AI development going forward.


RESIN previously conducted over 500 reviews in 2022 to ensure compliance with Google’s AI principles around benefiting people and not enabling weapons or human rights violations. It’s unclear how these reviews will be handled after the restructuring.

This comes as Google is pushing to accelerate its AI capabilities to keep up with competitors, while also stating AI responsibility is a priority. Some employees worry product development could become rushed and irresponsible as a result.

RESIN is not the only oversight body, but it had a broad remit and its disruption raises questions. Reviews for advanced models fall to a separate Google DeepMind council now.

It’s uncertain what role RESIN or other oversight groups will play in governance of AI developments going forward. Google states it is strengthening its work, but hasn’t provided specifics.


Google’s significant changes in how it oversees AI ethics, especially with the restructuring and leadership changes in its Responsible Innovation (RESIN) team, here are a few key points I have noted:

  • RESIN was Google’s main internal team responsible for reviewing AI projects for alignment with the company’s AI principles. It conducted over 500 reviews last year.
  • The leader of RESIN, Jen Gennai, recently left her role suddenly. Her team of about 30 people has now been split up – 10% will remain in their current group while 90% were moved to the trust and safety team.
  • The rationale and specifics around these changes are unclear. Some employees are concerned that product development may become more rushed, and that RESIN’s independence and ability to prevent ethical breaches may be reduced.
  • Google states that bringing the RESIN team under trust and safety will strengthen its responsible innovation work. But it’s declined to provide details on how AI ethics reviews will be handled going forward.
  • This restructuring, alongside other changes like DeepMind’s merger into Google Brain, have sparked worries that ethics oversight may slip as Google races to advance AI – even after its CEO listed developing AI responsibly as a top priority for 2024.

The restructuring and opacity around future plans for responsible AI oversight is concerning some Google employees at a crucial time for the field. It remains to be seen how Google will balance accelerated innovation with retaining meaningful guardrails and review processes to uphold ethical principles. Transparency around these issues appears lacking currently.

NewsletterYour weekly roundup of the best stories on AI. Delivered to your inbox weekly.

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement and to receive marketing emails from AIDIGITALX. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Steve Rick
Steve Rick

Steve Rick is an AI researcher and author. He specializes in natural language processing(NLP). He published articles on the transformative power of AI.