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Google DeepMind Co-Founder Placed on Leave from AI Lab (bloomberg.com)
54 points by situational87 56 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments



What a worthless article. Was this machine generated? There is literally zero information in it.

>“Mustafa is taking time out right now after 10 hectic years,” a DeepMind spokeswoman said. She didn’t say why he was put on leave.

Its like someone heard a rumor and fed the quote into an article generator that pulled related snippets about moose. If this is a public spokeswoman, why is she unnamed? This isn't reporting.


Agreed.

The only other semi-substantive point is that this company was "heavily criticized" for using a lot patient data (presumably for training?) without proper authorization in the UK.

But I'm not really sure what makes that "heavy criticism" or why I should care.

It really seems like a non-article that only serves to give a nebulous negative haze without providing any information of value.


Maybe the goal was to find a way to get a lot of medical records and it didn't make much sense to continue Deepmind Health once that goal has been achieved - hence the move to Google Health.


Isn't it quite common for companies to provide quotes to reporters through spokespeople without putting the person's name on record? I don't think leaving her unnamed is Bloomberg's choice.

Personally I found the article interesting because I knew nothing about "Moose" or DeepMind Health beforehand.


Isn't it quite common for companies to provide quotes to reporters through spokespeople without putting the person's name on record?

No. That's the whole point of having a spokesperson.

It's become more common recently since the rise of small media (blogs, Buzzfeed, etc...), but the big players hardly ever do it. Sometimes it's used for brevity. For example, an article written for radio might not name the person just to fit into a certain number of seconds. That article can then end up on the web site without being re-written by the web team. It's possible that's what happened here, since Bloomberg has a radio network.

The New York Times publishes a book explaining how things work within its organization. There's a chapter about un-named sources, and the significant hoops a reporter must go through in order to not use names.


..and you still know nothing about why he was placed on leave which was the point of the article. If it was an article titled, "10 cool things you didn't know about Moose", then you'd have a point.


Had to find an alternate source due to the paywall:

https://fortune.com/2019/08/21/google-deepmind-co-founder-le...


Another non paywall source:

https://www.businessinsider.com/deepmind-cofounder-mustafa-s...

hn should really stop linking paywalls, it's unethical to the publishers who chose to put their content behind them.


Why is it so common to link paywall articles here?

is this just a strategy to get us to sign up ?


Yes! It's a vast conspiracy! In fact, that's Hacker News' true business model.


I wonder if something serious happened for him to take a leave of absence. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if, by tomorrow, sexual allegations came out.


"a man was placed on leave, must be a sex scandal!"

Is this seriously the society we live in?

- Maybe he's sick

- Maybe a family member is sick

- Maybe he had a kid

- Maybe he's adopting a kid

- Maybe he's burnt out and wants something longer than what is considered a vacation off

- Maybe they're taking a direction on current research he objects to for any number of reasons

- Maybe he has interests in the UK he has to focus on due to Brexit and needs to step away while he deals with them.

- Maybe he's doing something for Partnership on AI that is going to demand most of his time.


Being placed on leave is not the same as taking time off. One implies it was voluntary and the other implies it was obligatory.

That said, I do agree it's best not to jump to conclusions.


>Being placed on leave is not the same as taking time off

The only quote on the matter is

“Mustafa is taking time out right now after 10 hectic years,”

That does not state he was 'placed on leave' the author of the article claims it, to me the direct quote reads as "he's burnt out and wants to take some time off but plans to come back"

"placed on leave" makes a better headline than "is taking a break" and isn't inflammatory enough to result in any legal action and at worst there will be a "editor's note: we have since learned he has chosen to take time off and have edited the article as such"


>"a man was placed on leave, must be a sex scandal!" Is this seriously the society we live in?

- Maybe there is a precedent for this insinuation

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/11/essential-ceo-andy-r...

According to the article, he was already relegated to a different role in a smaller group within the company. Whichever coded version of a 'leave' or a reason you want to use, if it was either routine or trivial, there would be no need for this article containing selective information to be issued, by a respected source, no less.


The srticle says

> The co-founder of DeepMind, the high-profile artificial intelligence lab owned by Google, has been placed on leave after controversy over some of the projects he led.

So I think we can rule most of your suggestions out (Not implying that his leave is in any way connected to a sex scandal)


The only direct quote, from a company rep, I saw in the article is “Mustafa is taking time out right now after 10 hectic years,” the rest was the journalist speculating or refusing to cite a source.


> "a man was placed on leave, must be a sex scandal!"

> Is this seriously the society we live in?

Unfortunately, yes.


- Maybe DeepMind and he just needed time for a loving exploration...

I agree tho wild speculation defaulting to a sex scandal is just weird.




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