The paper that led to Timnit Gebru’s ouster from Google reportedly questioned language models

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A paper co-authored by former Google AI ethicist Timnit Gebru raised some potentially thorny questions for Google about whether AI language models may be too big, and whether tech companies are doing enough to reduce potential risks, according to MIT Technology Review. The paper also questioned the environmental costs and inherent biases in large language models.

Google’s AI team created such a language model— BERT— in 2018, and it was so successful that the company incorporated BERT into its search engine. Search is a highly lucrative segment of Google’s business; in the third quarter of this year alone, it brought in revenue of $26.3 billion. “This year, including this quarter, showed how valuable Google’s founding product — search —…

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