When Google hired Timnit Gebru last year, it was seen by many in the artificial-intelligence field as a significant vote in favor of ethical AI research, and a welcome sign of an interest in diversity at the company. Dr. Gebru, who is Black, not only wrote a highly regarded paper on the limitations of facial recognition (which her research showed routinely misidentified people of color) but also co-founded the Black in AI research initiative, and has helped champion diversity throughout the...

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