Microsoft has laid off its entire ethics and society team dedicated to ensuring artificial intelligence (AI) innovations that are ethical, responsible, and sustainable, the media reported.
The layoffs at the AI ethics team are part of larger job cuts (10,000 employees) the tech giant announced earlier.
As first reported by The Verge on Monday, the news allegedly came after Microsoft’s corporate vice president of AI assured remaining employees that their jobs were safe.
The ethics and society team had around 30 employees including engineers, designers, and philosophers in 2020.
In October, the team was cut to roughly seven people as part of a reorganisation, said the report.
Microsoft still has an active Office of Responsible AI.
“Microsoft is committed to developing AI products and experiences safely and responsibly, and does so by investing in people, processes, and partnerships that prioritise this,” the company said in a statement.
However, employees said that the ethics and society team played a key role in ensuring that responsible AI principles are reflected in its products.