Google employees quit over controversial Project Maven

Google A Step Towards Autonomous Killing Machines

After around 3,000 Google employees rebelled against Google's involvement in the Pentagon's Project Maven AI program, some employees have chose to quit in protest, according to a report.

Earlier NV reported that more than 3 thousand employees of Google have signed an open letter to the leadership of the Corporation, demanding to refuse participation in the program of the Pentagon to the development of artificial intelligence for combat drones.

Several Google employees have resigned in protest over the company's involvement in a USA military pilot programme known as Project Maven, Gizmodo reported.

A number of employees have resigned from Google following the search giant's deal to provide artificial intelligence to the USA military.

Although "any military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns", the spokesperson said, Google is "actively engaged across the company in a comprehensive discussion of this important topic and also with outside experts". There is no indication that the petition nor the resignations have impacted Google's decision to work on Project Maven.

"Actions speak louder than words, and that's a standard I hold myself to as well", another resigning employee told Gizmodo. "The strongest possible statement I could take against this was to leave".

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The employees say executives have become less transparent to the workforce about controversial business decisions, and appear less interested in listening to objections. "Over the last couple of months, I've been less and less impressed with the response and the way people's concerns are being treated and listened to", said one resigning employee.

The internal petition has been signed by close to 4,000 employees at this stage.

However, growing pressure from employees, it seems, had little impact on the decision of the Google company continues its work on Maven and is considered one of the leading contenders for the other major contract for cloud computing in the Pentagon: joint security infrastructure of enterprises. Essentially, the company was using machine-learning algorithms to help military drones.

The DoD wanted to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people using AI.

The letter also warned of a reduction in human oversight in the future: "As military commanders come to see the object recognition algorithms as reliable, it will be tempting to attenuate or even remove human review and oversight for these systems".

However members of the tech industry are anxious. "This has shone only one spotlight on the increasingly high stakes of information technology infrastructures, and the inadequacy of current national and global governance frameworks to safeguard public trust", the letter concluded.

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