Microsoft Has Laid Off The Entire Ethical Team Overseeing ChatGPT And Other AI Projects

Recent media reports indicate that Microsoft has decided to lay off its entire ethics and society team, which was solely responsible for ensuring that all AI innovations developed by the tech giant are ethical, responsible, and sustainable. This move is part of the company’s larger job cuts, which involve the termination of 10,000 employees, as announced earlier.

According to sources cited in a report by Platformer, the elimination of the AI ethics team means that Microsoft no longer has a dedicated team to guarantee that its AI principles are closely integrated into product design, especially at a time when the company is actively leading the charge to make AI tools more accessible to the mainstream.

While Microsoft still has an active Office of Responsible AI, employees have noted that the ethics and society team played a crucial role in ensuring that responsible AI principles were reflected in its products.

According to a report in Platformer, citing sources, the move leaves “Microsoft without a dedicated team to ensure its AI principles are closely tied to product design at a time when the company is leading the charge to make AI tools available to the mainstream.”

The report also reveals that the team was working to identify potential risks posed by Microsoft’s adoption of OpenAI’s technology across its range of products, including the Bing Search engine. It is worth noting that in 2020, the ethics and society team comprised around 30 employees, including engineers, designers, and philosophers.

However, in October of the same year, the team was downsized to approximately seven people as part of a reorganization effort. It remains to be seen how the absence of the ethics and society team will impact Microsoft’s AI innovation in the long run.

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