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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 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.

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