Google employees revolt, say company should shut down military drone project
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Google workers revolt, state business should power down army drone task 13
Enlarge / an over-all Atomics MQ-9 Reaper.

USAF / Airman top class Adarius Petty

About per month ago, news surfaced that Google ended up being dealing with the usa Department of Defense on drone computer software called “Project Maven.” The task used Google’s image-recognition processes to the countless hours of drone footage gathered by the army aided by the objective of distinguishing individuals and things of great interest. SomeGoogle employees were reportedly outraged at the news, and now The New York Times reports the situation has escalated to a formal letter being addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.( at the time***********)

The letter, which The Times reports has “garnered more than 3,100 signatures” comes right out in the paragraph that is first demands the task be terminated:

Dear Sundar,
We believe Google shouldn’t be available of war. Consequently we ask that venture Maven be terminated which Google draft, publicize, and enforce a policy that is clear that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.

The letter goes on to say that “building this technology to assist the US Government in military surveillance—and potentially lethal outcomes—is not acceptable” and that Maven will “irreparably damage Google’s brand and its ability to compete for talent.” The letter even invokes Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto.

A Google spokesperson sent the response that is following the page:

An essential element of our tradition is having workers who’re earnestly involved in work we do. We realize that we now have numerous questions that are open in the use of new technologies, so these conversations—with employees and outside experts—are hugely important and beneficial.

Maven is a well-publicized DoD project, and Google is working on one part of it—specifically scoped to be for non-offensive purposes and open-source that is using computer software open to any Google Cloud consumer. The models depend on unclassified information just. The technology can be used to flag pictures for human being review and it is designed to save yourself life and save yourself folks from being forced to do work that is highly tedious

Any military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns. We’re actively engaged across the company in a comprehensive discussion of this topic that is important additionally with outside professionals, once we continue steadily to develop our policies across the development and make use of of our machine-learning technologies.

Although the task is “specifically scoped to be for non-offensive purposes,” the worker page takes problem using this assurance, stating that “the technology has been designed for the army, as soon as it is delivered, it might effortlessly be employed to help out with [lethal] tasks.” As the task may well not produce an autonomous tools system, most of the time target recognition is simply the step that is first some kind of offensive move toward that target. Many Google employees are clearly uncomfortable with any involvement in that process.

Google isn’t the tech that is only getting associated with army jobs. The Times highlights that Amazon and Microsoft both have different products that are competing at the Department of Defense.

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