Google’s ‘Woke AI’ Problem

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

Mar 7 2024 • 37 mins

The last few months have been rough for Google. Company executives have been in the hot seat because of some embarrassing missteps, the most awkward of which was the bungled launch of Google’s latest image generator. The company launched it as part of its suite of GenAI tools named Gemini, but then quickly pulled it back after the generator produced some seriously weird results.


This week, we welcome WIRED senior writer Paresh Dave back to the show to talk about Gemini’s strange outputs. We also talk about some of the staffing pains Google has been going through recently, including layoffs and accusations of discrimination.


Show Notes:
Read more about the “woke AI” controversy. Read Bloomberg’s story about Google’s layoffs to its trust and safety team. Read Paresh’s story about the Googler with a disability who alleges workplace discrimination at the company. Listen to our broader discussion about tech layoffs on episode 633.


Recommendations:
Paresh recommends the food blog The Fancy Navajo. Lauren recommends Lauren Mechling’s story in The Guardian about journalism; the Le Carré Cast podcast, particularly the episode about the secret life of the famous spy author; and Mike recommends the film collection “And the Razzie Goes to …” on the Criterion Channel.
Paresh can be found on social media @peard33.bsky.social. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.