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posted by janrinok on Monday May 14 2018, @11:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the courage-of-their-convictions dept.

Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract

It's been nearly three months since many Google employees—and the public—learned about the company's decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, about a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the company's continued involvement in Maven.

[...] The employees who are resigning in protest, several of whom discussed their decision to leave with Gizmodo, say that executives have become less transparent with their workforce about controversial business decisions and seem less interested in listening to workers' objections than they once did. In the case of Maven, Google is helping the Defense Department implement machine learning to classify images gathered by drones. But some employees believe humans, not algorithms, should be responsible for this sensitive and potentially lethal work—and that Google shouldn't be involved in military work at all.

Previously: Google vs Maven
Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:17AM (2 children)

    by looorg (578) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @01:17AM (#679876)

    So lets see, last time this was up there was as I recall it thousands of Googlers (or whatever we are supposed to call them) that was up in arms and demanded a stop to the military industrial complex (TM) killing babies with drones using Googles patented not evil tech. So a dozen, give or take a few, people quit. Guess it was just a lot of bark and not a lot of follow thru on that empty threat. A dozen people is tiny fraction of a percent of their entire staff.

    Still it might not be the number, it might be that those leaving was really important people to the project which might be a devastating blow or it might be some drones that won't be missed and replaced by the army of applicants before they where even out the door. After all every company has turnover of employees, I doubt this is more then a blip. If the thousands that signed had left there might have been an impact.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheRaven on Tuesday May 15 2018, @11:21AM (1 child)

    by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @11:21AM (#680009) Journal
    Google employee morality: Building massive surveillance system and psychological manipulation platform with no oversight? Fine. Building robots that might make the military slightly more efficient? EVIL!
    sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @03:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17 2018, @03:39AM (#680614)
      Uh. The hours people spend on youtube, gmail etc are more likely to be the hours they're not busy killing someone.

      I'm all for bread and circuses if the bread and circuses are good and almost everyone gets them.