After around 3,000 Google employees rebelled against Google's involvement in the Pentagon's Project Maven AI program, some employees have made a decision to quit in protest, according to a report.
In addition to those who resigned, there are also almost 4,000 employees who have signed an internal petition asking Google to immediately cancel their contract and institute a policy on future military work.
The resignation came after hundreds of employees protested Google's involvement in the Defense Department's Project Maven in an internal letter.
Project Maven aims to speed up the analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people.
"We are also deeply concerned about the possible integration of Google's data on people's everyday lives with military surveillance data, and its combined application to targeted killing", said the letter.
At some point, I realized I could not in good faith recommend anyone join Google, knowing what I knew. It's meant to detect vehicles and objects, track their movements and report this information back to the Department of Defense.
Earlier NV reported that more than 3 thousand employees of Google have signed an open letter to the leadership of the Corporation, demanding to refuse participation in the program of the Pentagon to the development of artificial intelligence for combat drones.
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Google was quick to downplay any controversy. A Google spokesperson confirmed the partnership back in March, but said the technology was being used for "non-offensive uses only". "Actions speak louder than words, and that's a standard I hold myself to as well", another employee who quit told Gizmodo. I'm not personally responsible for everything they do. "Military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns".
"We're actively engaged across the company in a comprehensive discussion of this important topic and also with outside experts, as we continue to develop our policies around the development and use of our machine learning technologies".
On Monday (14 May) more than 90 researchers and academics signed an open letter criticising the company's involvement in Project Maven, addressed to executives including Sundar Pichai and Diane Greene.
Google countered, saying the technology was nonoffensive, although that doesn't seem to have placated the disgruntled employees who want no part in war-related projects.
Google hasn't made a public comment on the matter to date and it's not helping matters on the whole transparency front.