Timnit Gebru | AI Ethics Researcher

I am currently a research scientist at Google in the ethical AI team. Timnit Gebru’s recent dismissal from Google over what looks like research censorship, or at the very least a refusal to discuss issues, has sent shockwaves through the AI, ML, robotics and ethics communities. Timnit Gebru was a co-founder of Black in AI, a place for sharing ideas, fostering collaborations and discussing initiatives to increase the presence of Black people in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and has been on the organizing committee of the Fairness Accountability and Transparency conference, now called the ACM FAccT Conference.

Gebru did a postdoc at Microsoft Research, New York City in the FATE (Fairness Transparency Accountability and Ethics in AI) group, studying algorithmic bias and the ethical implications underlying projects aiming to gain insights from data (see this New York Times article). She received her PhD from the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, studying computer vision under Fei-Fei Li, and her thesis pertains to using large-scale publicly available images to gain sociological insight, and working on computer vision problems that arise as a result. 

The Economist, The New York Times and others have covered part of this work. Prior to joining Fei-Fei’s lab Gebru worked at Apple designing circuits and signal processing algorithms for various Apple products including the first iPad. She also spent an obligatory year as an entrepreneur, as all Stanford undergrads seem to do. Her research was supported by the NSF foundation GRFP fellowship and the Stanford DARE fellowship. You can follow her on Twitter at @TimnitGebru