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Tech News

Google reportedly fired Margaret Mitchell, its Ethical AI Team founder

Google has evidently fired the founder and co-lead of its Ethical AI team, Margaret Mitchell.

This comes after weeks of being locked out of her work accounts over an investigation related to Mitchell’s objections concerning the controversial firing of her fellow co-lead Timnit Gebru.

According to a Google spokesperson, the investigation into Mitchell concerned alleged sharing of internal company files:

Our security systems automatically lock an employee’s corporate account when they detect that the account is at risk of compromise due to credential problems or when an automated rule involving the handling of sensitive data has been triggered. In this instance, yesterday our systems detected that an account had exfiltrated thousands of files and shared them with multiple external accounts. We explained this to the employee earlier today.

The firing of Timnit Gebru sent shockwaves throughout the AI community. It’s been widely viewed as a move to remove voices of dissent when those voices, world renowned ethicists hired specifically to investigate and oversee the ethical development and deployment of Google’s AI systems, don’t say what the company wants to hear.

Details are still coming in, but it appears as though Mitchell’s been let go as the result of Google’s investigation.

This story is developing…

Published February 19, 2021 — 22:26 UTC



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Categories
Computing

Shots fired: Intel says Ryzen 4000 performance stinks on battery

Intel called out its rival this morning, claiming that AMD’s Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs suffer major performance penalties when running on battery.

The company said its testing found that multiple Ryzen laptops experienced as much as a 48 percent performance drop when running on battery as opposed to being plugged into the wall. Unsurprisingly, laptops using Intel’s own 11th-gen Tiger Lake showed far less of a hit, the company said.

The Big Mac is better than the Whopper, really

While you’re likely extremely skeptical of Intel’s claims—which are akin to McDonald’s dumping on Burger King or Ford dissing Chevrolet—Intel said it has homework to back up its assertions. PCWorld, in the meantime, is in the process of trying to replicate these results.

Furthermore, we were not able to reach AMD for a response before publishing, but we will update this story as soon as the company comments. We expect something along the lines of, “The competition is getting nervous and desperate.”

To back up its claims, Intel said it tested five different AMD laptops against five different Intel laptops, running common benchmarks and its own workloads using common applications such as Word, Excel, and Acrobat, and found the Ryzen-based laptops tended to throttle down on battery and stay throttled down to apparently save battery life.

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Intel claims multiple Ryzen 4000-based laptops suffer significant performance drops on battery.

For example, Intel said, using UL’s PCMark 10 Applications test that measures the performance of a laptop doing standard Microsoft Office 365-based tasks, the five different Ryzen 4000 laptops from various vendors dropped by as much as 38 percent on battery versus plugged in.

The company claims to have found similar results in many other lightly threaded tasks and benchmarks, from SYSMark to WebXPRT to its own home-rolled tests that do such tasks as exporting PowerPoint presentations to PDF, or importing an Excel chart into Word.

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Cinebench R20 behavior for the Ryzen 4000 laptops did not depress for AMD as much on battery.

Interestingly, Intel said, it found that one popular 3D-rendering benchmark, Maxon’s CineBench R20, did not suffer the same performance drop. Why? Intel said its testing found that all of the Ryzen-based laptops significantly delayed boosting clock speeds by several seconds. On most very bursty workloads that last just a few seconds, you would see a depression in performance, but in a test like Cinebench that takes several minutes to run, the Core-crushing power of Ryzen 4000 is able to shine.

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