Timnit Gebru is a highly respected research scientist in artificial intelligence and an advocate for ethical AI. She is the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR), which focuses on research and education to promote ethical and inclusive AI. In December 2020, Gebru was fired by Google, where she was co-lead of the Ethical AI research team, for raising workplace discrimination issues. Despite this setback, she remains a leading voice in AI ethics.
Gebru earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University, where she conducted research at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Her research focused on computer vision and using publicly available images to gain sociological insights. After completing her Ph.D., Gebru did a postdoc at Microsoft Research, New York City, in the FATE (Fairness Accountability Transparency and Ethics in AI) group. There, she studied algorithmic bias and the ethical implications of projects aiming to gain insights from data.
In addition to her work in AI research, Gebru is a committed advocate for diversity and inclusion in AI. She co-founded Black in AI, a nonprofit that works to increase the presence, inclusion, visibility, and health of Black people in AI. She is also on the board of AddisCoder, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching algorithms and computer programming to Ethiopian high school students, free of charge.
Gebru has received numerous awards and fellowships for her AI research and ethics work, including the NSF Foundation GRFP and Stanford DARE fellowships. Her work has been featured in The Economist and The New York Times publications. Despite her challenges, Gebru remains committed to advancing the cause of ethical and inclusive AI, and her contributions to the field will continue to be felt for many years.