Some Google employees are resigning due to involvement with Project Maven

Doris Richards
May 15, 2018

In October of 2017, over 100 companies attended an industry event related to Project Maven, according to the Defense Department.

Demonstrated that Google was working together with the Defense Department to create artificial intelligence for assessing drone footage as part of an initiative called Project Maven.

However, Google's involvement in the project has triggered massive protests within the company and now almost 4,000 Google employees, out of the 85,000 Alphabet employees, have signed an internal petition asking Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai to end the tech giant's support for Project Maven and halt the "business of war".

The resigning employees' concerns ranges from ethical worries about the use of AI in drone warfare to qualms about Google's political decisions and a potential erosion of user trust, according to Gizmodo. "I wasn't happy just voicing my concerns internally. The strongest possible statement I could take against this was to leave", the departing team member said.

The employees say executives have become less transparent to the workforce about controversial business decisions, and appear less interested in listening to objections. We first heard about the project on Monday when Gizmodo reported that "a dozen" of the Google staffers had resigned to protest against the project. "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 outgoing employee.

Back in April, as many as 3,100 Google employees had signed a letter urging CEO Sundar Pichai to revoke Google's involvement in the project. Multiple sources have reportedly shared the document's contents with Gizmodo.

"The tech flags pictures for human inspection, and is "Military usage of machine learning obviously raises legitimate concerns".

Researchers that are critical of Google also posted an open letter stressing about Google supplying the Pentagon with "open source "deep learning" technologies" together with technology experience.

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".

Google's Mountain View office.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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