Google restructures its responsible AI innovation team

Google’s Responsible Innovation team (RESIN), which is responsible for reviewing internal projects to ensure they comply with Google’s AI principles, has undergone restructuring.

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Google’s Responsible Innovation team, or RESIN, has undergone a restructuring, raising concerns about the company’s commitment to responsible AI development. The team, which reviews internal projects to ensure compliance with Google’s AI principles, has lost its leader and founder, Jen Gennai. Gennai’s sudden departure and the transfer of 90% of the team to the trust and safety team within the global affairs division has left employees questioning Google’s ability to uphold its goal of responsibly developing AI.

RESIN was crucial in reviewing over 500 internal projects last year, including the Bard chatbot, to ensure compatibility with Google’s AI principles. However, the restructuring has led to uncertainty about how AI principles reviews will be conducted. While Google claims the team’s work will continue, specific details are unclear.

Google’s history of AI controversies, such as the protests against the Project Maven Pentagon contract, led to the establishment of the Responsible Innovation team in 2018. Seeking guidance from the RESIN team on AI principles compliance was not mandatory for most teams, but Gennai emphasized the value of early reviews to prevent ethical breaches.

Why does it matter?

The restructuring appears to signal Google’s commitment to responsible AI development, with the company stating that it brings the Responsible AI team to the center of its trust and safety efforts. However, the lack of clarity and specific information about the restructuring raises concerns about Google’s dedication to upholding its AI principles.