A month after Gebru was pushed out of Google, hundreds of workers at its parent company, Alphabet, announced that they were unionizing. For Alex Hanna, a senior researcher on Gebru and Mitchell’s former team at Google, the Alphabet Workers Union is a crucial step. “The union is a strong counterweight, especially for AI workers who want to speak up against some of the abuses companies are perpetuating through AI products,” she says. For Gebru, the union is one of the few hopes for change that she has. “There has to be a lot of pressure,” she says.

Hanna cautions that building up this countervailing force to combat Big Tech’s influence will take time. Others are less patient. “These companies have so much power,” says Shah-Dand. “Someone has to dismantle them, whether it’s inside or outside.” {read}