Congratulations on surviving this wild first week of 2021. Outside of all political things, there was some labor development that is worth noting. Also, shortly before a mob of Trump supporters wreaked havoc on the American Capitol, I found AI head researcher Dr. Timneet caught up with Gabru, who said he was fired from Google last month for speaking on various issues. Our full conversation will be available to listen to next Saturday in the newest episode of TC Mixtape, but I’ve included some snippets for Yal below.
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Google associates alphabet workers
More than 200 Google and a group of alphabet workers announced the formation of the Alphabet Workers Union. With the help of the Communications Workers of America Union’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA), the union will remain open to both employees and contractors.
Of the approximately 227 workers who signed on to support the union earlier this week, they all committed to setting aside 1% of their annual compensation to go toward union dues. Those dues will be used to help people to compensate for lost wages in the event of a strike. Most of the workers who signed up have offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in Cambridge.
However, to be clear, the alphabetical labor union is a bit immoral. The current union has only 227 workers out of the 132,121 people in Alphabet. For the Alphabet Association, the intent is not to be able to bargain with companies owned by the alphabet, but to be able to work collectively towards common goals.
Labor Department issues re-filing: gig workers
Earlier this week, the US Department of Labor Issued a final rule related to gig workers. This rule, which came into effect from March 8, 2021, makes it easier for gig economy companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart to legally classify workers as independent contractors across the country.
However, it remains to be seen whether this rule will be fully revealed under the new leadership of President-Elect Joe Biden, which will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. According to the wall street journal, Biden spokesman Jane Psyche previously pointed to the labor rule that Biden could have closed or delayed the day of its opening as an example of regulation.
Independent Drivers Guild Chicago Forms
Rideshare drivers in Chicago recently teamed up with the Independent Drivers Guild To start a local branch of the Drivers’ Rights Organization. IDG, which is affiliated with the Machinist Union, has historically advocated for the rights of rideshare drivers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“IDG beat the odds to get higher salaries and benefits for drivers in New York City and we are working together,” Chicago ride driver-organizer Steven Everett said in a statement.
Dr. What’s next for Timneet Gabru
Many of you Drs. Timneet is familiar with Gabru, but TL; The DR is that he recently left Google after talking on issues of diversity in artificial intelligence. Google says that Gabru resigned and he only accepted his resignation, while Gabaru says that Google fired him.
I called Dr. Talks with Gabru to see what lies ahead for him, as well as some recent developments in Tech’s labor struggles.
On the alphabet trade union:
It is a combination of work and frustration of a lot of people. And I think this is the only way because it is a way to give power to the workers, and because they can be on the negotiating table, because right now, they don’t have power.
[…] One thing I really appreciate about this union is that it is all workers. It’s not just you know, full-time workers, it’s temporary workers and full-time workers, which is extremely important because the tech industry is right now running on the backs of these contract workers who have zero protection. “
[…] However what concerns me is this [Google has] To try to stop this type of event and to stop any kind of organizing and now it has become something real, I think they are going to intensify their efforts, try to stop such event Extremely aggressive with being very aggressive in. By having. And there are many well-known strategies for doing so, right. Such propaganda and various divisions and conquests and all that. So that’s my concern. And I think everyone needs to be vigilant to make sure this doesn’t happen.
On fighting for separation:
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, you know, explain to me what I’m thinking about right now,” he said, “I definitely have lawyers.”
Obviously, what they did to me was wrong and I definitely want to do, you know, take some kind of action but what is not necessary is not crystal clear.
On working in a tech company again
Prior to joining Google, Drs. Gebru played roles at Apple and Microsoft. However, she still plans to work in the field of artificial intelligence ethics and work with Black in AI, Drs. Gabru said “It is very difficult for me to imagine joining a corporation right now.”
I am just sick of these institutions because you spend so much of your energy, fighting for simple things, just for simple things that people have no incentive to change.
[…] I want to spend more time thinking how our own institutions can be, instead of fighting these people again and again. This is my current thinking.
Imagine a firm or nonprofit that was leading Google’s ethical AI team under its leadership, but is not affiliated with any corporation.
“We want to create technology that works for us as well, rather than just playing catch,” he said. “So I think Black has an idea in AI.”