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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: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:04AM (2 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:04AM (#679959) Journal

    Protests of the Privileged
    ...
      But what a privilege it must be to leave a job to protest moral failings of one's employer. I'd love to be in a position to do that.

    Just in case I don't quite get it: do you resent what they did?

    How do you do that? Do you have a couple million banked when you bravely announce that you're resigning in protest?

    (blink) ... what's the worse that can happen that you'd need those millions?

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:25PM (#680085)

    I don't know if he resents what they did. The way I read it, he is wondering what their situations are. Were they already on their way out the door? Were they affluent enough that they didn't need to be working? Did they already have jobs lined up to jump into, or knew that they could easily get another job? Knowing the answer to some of those questions would provide a little background before holding these guys up as Great Moral Crusaders. Remember during the last NFL season when Mike Pence walked out of the evening football game in a moral protest against the players who were kneeling during the National Anthem? Then it was (not surprisingly) revealed that was the entire point in going to Indianapolis in the first place and that there was never an intention to watch the game? That information confirms that his mighty stance based upon his high moral convictions was just a cheap political stunt meant to appease his boss. I think this guy is similarly wondering if there might be other motivations in play here.

  • (Score: 2) by srobert on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:52PM

    by srobert (4803) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @04:52PM (#680092)

    "Just in case I don't quite get it: do you resent what they did?"

    No. I don't know whether I support their cause. I don't know much about it. I actually have some respect for their actions because they are protesting what, at least they perceive, as a moral lapse on Google's part. The world needs more of that and less of assholes who stand on the side accusing everyone of being an "SJW" for caring about anything. I'm glad they feel that they can protest in this way. But I hope they realize what it would be like not to be privileged in that way. Unfortunately the Joker was right: People are only as good as circumstances will allow them to be. Just a few small changes and these people will eat each other.

    "what's the worse that can happen that you'd need those millions?"

    Even now, though I'm much better off than I used to be, if I go too far in speaking my mind, I could easily wind up jobless, homeless, and unable to meet my family's needs. (We have a couple of serious medical conditions that we're dealing with). If I lose my job at my age, I'll probably be unemployed for the rest of my life. And I'm not close to being able to draw my pension yet. A million dollars isn't so much anymore. If invested well it could generate a livable income, but it's not enough to make you independently wealthy. But I think if I had 2 or 3 million, I would not hesitate to speak openly about much of anything. I wouldn't hesitate to point out an injustice, if I thought my pointing out could help fix it. There are some people who would like to use your economic circumstances to make sure that you keep your mouth shut. If they can't do that, they can parrot "SJW, SJW" in response to any legitimate concerns you have. That wouldn't stop me. But holding my livelihood over my head can stop me. Perhaps I'm a bit of a coward, but that's the way it is.