Fantastic talk and Q&A by @timnitGebru at #ICLR2021

Among other things I really appreciate how Timnit is unerasing the contribution of our retracted co-authors and how key their contributions & perspectives were to the Stochastic Parrots paper.
@timnitGebru And so much else: @timnitGebru is absolutely brilliant at drawing connections between the research milieu, research content, geopolitics and individual, situated lived experience.
@timnitGebru On interdisciplinarity and the hierarchy of knowledge:

“If you have all the money, you don’t have to listen to anybody” —@timnitgebru
@timnitGebru Long discussion (with moderator @haldaume3 also doing an excellent job) about what individuals can do, given all of the incentive structures, in industry & academia. @timnit emphasized the need for structural change & the hope of power in numbers.
@timnitGebru @haldaume3 @Timnit And @haldaume3 reflected on how even tenured faculty (supposedly those with the most academic freedom) are subjected to various pressures, in terms of securing funding or jobs/internships for their students. Lots of reasons not to rock the boat!
@timnitGebru @haldaume3 @Timnit This was in response to a question about the bystander effect, & I think it's important not to treat this as all or nothing: there are often small things we can do to exercise what power we have towards shifting power, & each time we do that, it gets easier to take the next step.
@timnitGebru @haldaume3 @Timnit Among other things: positive steps towards shifting power taken in solidarity build community, which is back to @timnitGebru 's point about strength in numbers. Stronger community means more ability to take the next steps.
.@haldaume3 also brought forward a question about what we should do vis a vis the language communities not benefiting from this tech and pointing out that indiscriminately scraping data from languages the researchers don't speak doesn't work.

@haldaume3 .@timnitGebru 's reply pointed out that the choice isn't between ignoring a community or performing research on them: what about allocating resources to support the work being done by those communities, that meets their needs?

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More from @emilymbender

3 May
Wow this article covers a lot of ground! Seems like a good way for folks interested in "AI ethics" and what that means currently to get a quick overview.

Draws on work by @mmitchell_ai @timnitGebru @rajiinio @jovialjoy @mathbabedotorg and many others.
A few pull quotes & comments:
"Ethics in AI is essentially questioning, constantly investigating, and never taking for granted the technologies that are being rapidly imposed upon human life.

That questioning is made all the more urgent because of scale."
Read 20 tweets
8 Apr
On professional societies not giving academic awards to harassers, "problematic faves", or bigots, a thread: /1
Context: I was a grad student at Stanford (in linguistics) in the 1990s, but I was clueless about Ullman. I think I knew of his textbook, but didn't know whether he was still faculty, let alone where. /2
I hadn't heard about his racist web page until this week. /3
Read 20 tweets
7 Apr
I am both heartened and saddened to see these developments wrt to Google:
1. Sammy Bengio leaving, seemingly at least in part over the treatment of @timnitGebru and @mmitchell_ai and their amazing team…
@timnitGebru @mmitchell_ai 2. An influential Alphabet/Google stakeholder is pushing for better whistleblower protections:…
Read 5 tweets
24 Mar
@jonst0kes This will be my last contribution to this conversation.

@jonst0kes I'm glad to see you admitting that this is a conversation about power, and that you are happy with the status quo:

@jonst0kes As for this, I find it rather telling that the "free-speech absolutist" crowd is so terrified of other people ... speaking:

Read 9 tweets
1 Mar
Better late than never, I suppose, but as one of the targets of his harassment, I could have wished that you didn't embolden him and his like in the first place, nor sit by for two months while this went on.
And it's not just about "people who don't want to be contacted" FWIW. He's been spamming all kinds of folks with derogatory remarks about @timnitGebru, me, and others who stand up for us.
@timnitGebru I should have kept a tally of how much time I've spent over the last two months dealing with this crap because it pleased @JeffDean to say in a public post that our paper "didn't meet the bar" for publication.
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
@timnitGebru He sent it to me this morning too. I just archived it without reading it, because I figured there would be nothing of value there. (I wasn't wrong.) What is it with this guy? As you say, @sibinmohan why does he think Google needs his defense?
@timnitGebru @sibinmohan And more to the point: @timnitGebru and @mmitchell_ai (and @RealAbril and others) your shedding light on this and continuing to do so brings great value. How can we get to better corporate (& other) practices if the injustices are not widely known?
@timnitGebru @sibinmohan @mmitchell_ai @RealAbril As always, I am in awe of your energy & fortitude.
Read 4 tweets

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