Thursday, 05 April 2018 07:35

Google staff protest involvement in Pentagon drone project Featured

By

Rank and file workers at Google, including a number of senior engineers, have submitted a letter to senior management to protest against a decision to provide technology to a US Defence Department programme that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and assist in targeting enemies in drone strikes.

The letter has more than 3100 signatures, according to  The New York Times, which published the missive on Wednesday.

Google announced recently that it would be providing help to Project Maven, a joint effort with the Pentagon, which uses video imagery in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism missions. The project aims to develop artificial intelligence to analyse drone footage and identify objects within it

The letter, addressed to Google chief Sundar Pichai, said: "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war. Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicise and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology."

Google's former chairman Eric Schmidt last year expressed concerns over such projects, saying: "There's a general concern in the tech community of somehow the military-industrial complex using their stuff to kill people incorrectly."

The letter went on: "Recently, Googlers voiced concerns about Maven internally. Diane Greene responded, assuring them that the technology will not 'operate or fly drones' and 'will not be used to launch weapons'. While this eliminates a narrow set of direct applications, the technology is being built for the military, and once it’s delivered it could easily be used to assist in these tasks.

"This plan will irreparably damage Google’s brand and its ability to compete for talent. Amid growing fears of biased and weaponised AI, Google is already struggling to keep the public’s trust. By entering into this contract, Google will join the ranks of companies like Palantir, Raytheon, and General Dynamics.

"The argument that other firms, like Microsoft and Amazon, are also participating doesn’t make this any less risky for Google. Google’s unique history, its motto Don’t Be Evil, and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart."

The letter asked Pichai to cancel the project and draft a policy that neither Google nor its contractors would build warfare technology.

Read 2833 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

SONICWALL 2022 CYBER THREAT REPORT

The past year has seen a meteoric rise in ransomware incidents worldwide.

Over the past 12 months, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers have diligently tracked the meteoric rise in cyberattacks, as well as trends and activity across all threat vectors, including:

Ransomware
Cryptojacking
Encrypted threats
IoT malware
Zero-day attacks and more

These exclusive findings are now available via the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, which ensures SMBs, government agencies, enterprises and other organizations have the actionable threat intelligence needed to combat the rising tide of cybercrime.

Click the button below to get the report.

GET REPORT!

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments