Google Employees Try to Scuttle National Security Project | NTK Network Google Employees Try to Scuttle National Security Project

Google Employees Try to Scuttle National Security Project

Google took on a project to help improve the military's artificial intelligence capabilities. Its employees are revolting.

By NTK Staff | 04.04.2018 @5:00pm
Google Employees Try to Scuttle National Security Project

According to a report from The New York Times, Google employees are rebelling against their company, trying to scuttle a contract with the Department of Defense.

Concerned with an artificial intelligence project that could aid military drone strikes, thousands of employees wrote a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai demanding an end to the program.

Dubbed Project Maven, the effort would improve the U.S. military’s video analysis capabilities, allowing drone strikes to target humans more effectively:

Employees raised questions about Google’s involvement in Project Maven at a recent companywide meeting. At the time, Diane Greene, who leads Google’s cloud infrastructure business, defended the deal and sought to reassure concerned employees.

But improved analysis of drone video could be used to pick out human targets for strikes, while also better identifying civilians to reduce the accidental killing of innocent people.

“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” the employees wrote. The letter itself demands the cancellation of the project, and that Google will never “build warfare technology.”

“Amid growing fears of biased and weaponized AI, Google is already struggling to keep the public’s trust,” they wrote. “By entering into this contract, Google will join the ranks of companies like Palantir, Raytheon, and General Dynamics.”

According to the Times, 3,100 Google employees signed the letter, putting the company in a difficult position. Either they anger a large segment of their workforce, or they forgo an opportunity to assist with America’s national security needs.

You can read the letter here.

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