Janel Thamkul who served the role of Legal Manager at Google for the past seven years has left the tech giant to join Anthropic as Deputy General Counsel. Last month, Google announced a partnership with Anthropic, a startup founded in 2021.
Simultaneously to this news, the startup has issued their core views on AI safety. “At Anthropic our motto has been “show, don’t tell”, and we’ve focused on releasing a steady stream of safety-oriented research that we believe has broad value for the AI community,” the company stated in their recent blog post. The 6000 word post extensively delves into the ‘three-types’ of research Anthropic is pursuing.
Anthropic makes ‘Claude’ which, much like ChatGPT, is an artificial intelligence chatbot. Fascinatingly, Thamkul is not the first employee who has left the company to join Anthropic. The CEO of Anthropic Dario Amodei also worked at Google right before founding the company. During his ten month period at Google, he worked on extending the safety of neural nets for their AI systems.
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Thamkul joined Google in August 2015, where she co led the development of ethical AI, managed the product counsel team advising on AI, and provided legal guidance in regulations like DMCA, EU Copyright Directive, EU Artificial Intelligence Act, and Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. She also focused on ethical research and development of several AI frameworks.
Google employees leaving the company to kick off their own start up is not surprising. Cohere’s founders Aidan Gomez, Nick Frosst, and Niantic’s John Hanke are some of the ex-Googlers who have entered the AI field as the tech giant’s competitor in their specific domains.