Lawsuit: Amazon AI Exec Was Pressured to Ignore Copyright Violations

Jeff Bezos (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

A former Amazon AI scientist, Dr. Viviane Ghaderi, has filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, claiming she faced discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination after disclosing her pregnancy and raising concerns about copyright infringement in AI research.

The Register reports that according to the complaint filed last week in a Los Angeles state court, Dr. Viviane Ghaderi, a former high-flying AI scientist at Amazon, alleges that she was demoted and ultimately dismissed following her return to work after giving birth. Ghaderi, who had previously worked successfully in Amazon’s Alexa and LLM teams and achieved several promotions, claims that her troubles began when she disclosed her pregnancy to her new supervisor, Daniel Marcu, in September 2022.

(iStock/Getty Images; BNN)

The lawsuit alleges that Marcu, taken aback by the news, informed Ghaderi that she would be “temporarily” transferred to report to another employee, Mahesh Krishnakumar, to avoid “worrying” about managing her team during her leave. Ghaderi claims that Krishnakumar later pressured her into delaying the start of her maternity leave, which she eventually took on November 15, 2022, the day she underwent an emergency C-section.

Upon returning to work in January 2023, Ghaderi alleges that she inherited a large language model project and was responsible for flagging violations of Amazon’s internal copyright policies. However, when she raised concerns about copyright infringement to her team director, Andrey Styskin, he allegedly challenged her to understand why Amazon was not meeting its goals on Alexa search quality and told her to ignore copyright policies to improve the results, stating, “Everyone else is doing it.”

Ghaderi also claims that she faced discriminatory and harassing comments from Krishnakumar, including statements such as “Take it easy, I have young daughters, so I know it’s hard to be a woman with a newborn,” and was denied reinstatement to her promised career path. After complaining to HR about the alleged discrimination and retaliation, Ghaderi says she was stripped of her team, demoted, and placed on informal and formal performance review plans with unrealistic goals.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial and names Services, Andrey Styskin, and Mahesh Krishnakumar as defendants, citing seven causes, including violation of employment law against sex discrimination, pregnancy leave law, harassment, protection against retaliation, failure to take steps to prevent discrimination and protect whistleblowers, and wrongful termination of employment.

Read more at the Register here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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