Google recently fired Timnit Gebru, one of the world’s leading researchers in Artificial Intelligence (AI), for speaking the truth!
What blasphemous truth did she reveal?
AI systems developed which focus on data from wealthy colonizer countries means that “AI-generated language will be homogenized, reflecting the practices of the richest countries and communities,” wrote MIT Technology Review.
Timnit Gebru is a colonized African person who was born in Ethiopia and moved to the united snakes for school.
Many petty-bourgeois, colonized people who have enough wealth and luck to study in colonial schools take comfort in the fact that they can land cushy, well-paying jobs at big corporations. There’s also often this liberal hope that one can “do good” while participating in these colonizer corporations which ravage the planet.
This is nothing but a bribe from colonizers to keep working-class, colonized people invested in this system, which will never reform itself enough to grant liberation and self-determination to the poor and working-class colonized people of the world.
In a Biography on Patrice Lumumba, written by Kwame Nkrumah, they explain how colonized sellouts can only submit to colonial interests, in turn, destroying their nation and people but colonized sellouts do not benefit from the destruction like the white ruling class of the europe and the us does.
“There was a marked absence of capitalists among the bourgeoisie since local business enterprise was on the whole discouraged by the colonial power. Anyone wishing to achieve wealth and status under colonialism was therefore likely to choose a career in the professions, the civil service or the armed forces because there were so few business opportunities.”
Timnit is no colonizer, even though she had wished to enjoy some of her nations and people’s stolen wealth and knowledge. By revealing this truth, we don’t condemn our sellout colonized siblings. We only criticize and bring forth the contradiction of neocolonial sellouts so that it may be struggled with and overturned. Once that struggle has been won, they can be welcomed back into the community, class, and nation to which they belong.
With a history of working in Google’s AI Research lab to help reform the imperialist corporation from the inside, in 2018, she published a paper that proved how facial-recognition software discriminated against dark-skinned women because it was developed primarily by and for (light-skinned) colonizers.
In her final letter, Timnit expressed she was “dismayed by the fact that after all this talk, [Google] seems to have hired 14% or so women this year.” She continued, “There is no way more documents or more conversations will achieve anything.”
“Silencing marginalized voices like this is the opposite of the [Google] principles which we discussed. And doing this in the context of ‘responsible AI’ adds so much salt to the wounds.”
To add salt to the wound, neocolonial sellout CEO Sundar Pichai issued a non-apology letter trying to save face, but ultimately still followed the leadership of white power. “We need to accept responsibility for the fact that a prominent Black, female leader with immense talent left Google unhappily,” he said, again proving that corporations just use “intersectionality” as a way to cover up colonial abuse.
Timnit closed the letter with the smartest thing she has ever said,
“So if you would like to change things, I suggest focusing on leadership, accountability, and thinking through what types of pressures can also be applied from the outside.”
Exactly Timnit! It’s past time that petty-bourgeois colonized people commit class suicide and divest themselves from the crumbs of wealth that colonizers throw at us. They will only keep us in a hamster wheel, working hard but going nowhere. The necessary “outside pressure” that Timnit has begun to sense is the need for a revolutionary organization under the leadership of the colonized poor and working class.
Only when poor and working-class colonized people have dictatorship over our lives, labor, land, and resources can we permanently end the racist, colonialist tools of exploitation and instead turn these tools into instruments to build a world where nobody lives at the expense of another.
Tell Timnit Gebru: if she actually wants to overturn these issues — and now that you’re unemployed with a lot of free time — show the poor working class that you’ve internalized your lesson, and join Black Hammer!