Daring to DAIR: Distributed AI Research with Timnit Gebru

EPISODE 568
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About this Episode

Today we’re joined by friend of the show Timnit Gebru, the founder and executive director of DAIR, the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute. In our conversation with Timnit, we discuss her journey to create DAIR, their goals and some of the challenges shes faced along the way. We start is the obvious place, Timnit being “resignated” from Google after writing and publishing a paper detailing the dangers of large language models, the fallout from that paper and her firing, and the eventual founding of DAIR. We discuss the importance of the “distributed” nature of the institute, how they’re going about figuring out what is in scope and out of scope for the institute’s research charter, and what building an institution means to her. We also explore the importance of independent alternatives to traditional research structures, if we should be pessimistic about the impact of internal ethics and responsible AI teams in industry due to the overwhelming power they wield, examples she looks to of what not to do when building out the institute, and much much more!

 

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