Technology

Google employees resign in protest of Google/pentagon drone program

Enlarge / A General Atomic MQ-9 Reaper.

USAF / Airman First Class Adarius Petty

Despite the protests of employees, Google continues to advance the collaboration of the Department of Defense to produce a software for automatic learning drones. Google has not listened to a continent of its employees who are unhappy with Google's involvement in the military-industrial complex, and now a report of Gizmodo says "about a dozen" d & rsquo; Employees have resigned on the issue.

The controversial program calls it "Project Maven" and Google uses its usual expertise in machine learning and image recognition for millions of hours of UAVs collected by the military. The goal is to identify people and objects of interest. While a Google spokesman says the program is "limited to non-offensive purposes," a letter signed by nearly 4,000 Google employees challenged this assurance: "The technology is Designed for the military, it is delivered, it could easily be used to help [lethal] tasks. "

The petition requested that Google immediately cancel the project, saying "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war."

The opposition to the project does not just come from Google. An open letter from the International Committee for the Control of Robotic Weapons expressed its "solidarity" with Google employees who were protesting and was signed by more than 200 researchers and academics in artificial intelligence. The letter says that Google should "pledge not to arm its technology" and terminate its contract with the DoD.

"If an ethical action on the part of technology companies requires thinking about who could benefit from a technology and who could be harmed," says the letter, "we can say with certainty that no subject deserves more sober thinking, higher stakes than algorithms supposed to target and kill remotely and without public accountability "

A resigned employee wondered why Google was even embarrassed about such a controversial program while it was already so massive. "It's not as if Google was this little start-up trying to find customers in different industries," the anonymous employee told Gizmodo. "It seems logical that the reputation of Google and Google remains outside of that."

"Actions speak louder than words, and it's a standard to which I also stand," said another employee resigning from Gizmodo. "I was not happy to express my concerns internally, and the strongest statement I could make against it was to leave."

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