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Meredith Whittaker named Signal's new president, committed to the company's transformation and escape

Posting time:2023-03-26 10:32:26

Meredith Whittaker named Signal's new president, committed to the company's transformation and escape

The company behind encrypted messaging app Signal just hired former Google manager and AI Now Institute co-founder Meredith Whittaker as president. One of the organizers of Google's massive 2018 walkout, Whittaker made the announcement on her personal blog, where she outlined her new role, saying she will guide the organization's strategy for long-term sustainability. Meredith Whittaker wrote: As President, I am committed to helping Signal stand and thrive in a climate-variable marketplace. By working with Signal's CEO and leadership to focus on the company's strategic direction, ensuring financial sustainability, enhancing and expanding public communications, and any other work needed to enhance applications and organizations. In 2018, Whittaker helped organize a massive strike at Google to protest the tech giant's arrogant indifference in handling sexual harassment allegations against executives. Within Google, Whittaker is also known for his advocacy for ethical AI applications. At the same time, he founded the AI ​​Now Institute with New York University, and is still employed by the company. Screenshot (from: Signal Blog) In 2019, Meredith Whittaker left Google and became one of many strike organizers who claimed to be retaliated against for internal activism. In November 2021, she served as the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Senior Advisor on Artificial Intelligence and was recognized for her depth of knowledge and ethical framework. As Signal's new president, the company is facing a transition period as founder Moxie Marlinspike steps down as CEO. The current CEO position is temporarily vacant, and Whittaker will take over temporarily. On the other hand, the developer of Signal Protocol, an open-source protocol for end-to-end encrypted messaging, has been included in WhatsApp since 2016. As a standalone app, Signal has about 40 million users. Even though WhatsApp has nearly 2 billion users, Signal has become a major player in the messaging space. And last year, Signal employees were told that for the app to work well, the app would need to reach around 100 million users. Regrettably, despite a small wave of rapid growth in recent years, employees at the company have expressed concerns about the lack of sufficient resources to cope. Finally, in comments to The Washington Post, Whittaker seemed to suggest she would push more users to pay for Signal. Signal costs tens of millions of dollars a year to develop and maintain, she said. Making up for this cost without mobile phone user data remains a formidable challenge.

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