15 Oct 2021

#DS4SocietySeminar 2021 <> On the dangers of stochastic parrots

Timnit Gebru

Talk Details


In this talk, I will expand on a couple of points in the Stochastic Parrots paper, which was ostensibly the reason I got fired from Google. Specifically, I plan to discuss some of the issues perpetuated by the platforms (e.g. social media companies) whose contents are used to train large language models, in the countries that they don’t consider to be important. I discuss some issues with content moderation, and note the proliferation of hate speech, misinformation, and other harmful material, which in turn is used to train the next generation of large language models. On the other hand, the lack of language technology for many languages in the African continent, means that this hate speech cannot be detected in an automated manner.

Speaker Bio

Timnit Gebru was fired by Google in December 2020 for raising issues of discrimination in the workplace. Prior to that she was a co-lead of the Ethical AI research team at Google. She received her PhD from Stanford University, and did a postdoc at Microsoft Research, New York City in the FATE (Fairness Accountability Transparency and Ethics in AI) group, where she studied algorithmic bias and the ethical implications underlying projects aiming to gain insights from data. Timnit also co-founded Black in AI, a nonprofit that works to increase the presence, inclusion, visibility and health of Black people in the field of AI. She is currently setting up an independent AI research institute.

Video, Slides and Notes

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Video 1 - Talk + Q&A

Video 2 - Discussion