Why I quit my job as Google’s Chief Decision Scientist
What’s it like to go from being Chief Decision Scientist at Google to being, well… just me?
Writing about personal things is unusual for me; most of my blogging has been an effort to make complicated technical concepts simple. But it’s Saturday, let’s celebrate! (By blogging instead of going outside, I guess?)
So long, Google, and thanks for all the fish!
Just over a month ago, I left my position as Google’s Chief Decision Scientist after nearly a decade at the company. It was a fascinating time to be there and an honor to experience applied AI coming into its own from a seat right at the epicenter. I watched the birth of transformers (that’s the “T” in ChatGPT), personally trained over 20,000 Googlers in data+AI (you can view one of my workshops here), impacted hundreds of projects, and founded the discipline of Decision Intelligence there.
Why did I quit my job just as generative AI was becoming everyone’s favorite conversation starter? No, not because I think something is rotten in the state of Google. I don’t think that at all. I continue to believe that Google’s heart is mostly in the right place and its Brain is doing okay too. I’ll explain in a moment, but first, a humorous interlude where I tell you the physical circumstances of my quitting.
When it rains, it pours
People say that it’s wise to take a real break when you quit your job and I had a bit of vacation saved up, so the plan was to have my last day of teary farewells after a hard reset: two weeks at the only place on the planet that’s not on the planet…
The classic career-exit-via-Burning-Man move. The idea was to arrive at the beginning of Build Week and be part of transforming the Playa from barren desert into a cross between a roleplaying video game, a festival, and an alien planet. It went from looking like this: