Google workers REVOLT over 'Project Maven' drone project which uses AI to SPY on people
More than a dozen workers are thought to have resigned and another 4,000 have signed a petition against the company’s involvement with the spy drone called Project Maven.
Project Maven helps process aerial drone footage using artificial intelligence (AI) to spy on vehicles and even follow people as they come and go in and out of buildings.
Google said the tech would not be used to kill people, but employees are outraged that Google would involve itself in military operations.
One resigning employee said that they couldn’t live with the responsibility of the company’s decisions, adding: “I tried to remind myself that Google’s decisions are not my decisions.
“I’m not personally responsible for everything that they do.
“But I do feel responsibility.”
Another employee told Gizmodo they couldn’t understand why they would put their reputation at risk.
They said: “It’s not like Google is the little machine-learning startup that’s trying to find clients in different industries.
“It just seems like it makes sense for Google and Google’s reputation to stay out of that.
They continued: “We can no longer ignore our industry’s harmful biases, large-scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards.
“These are life and death stakes.”
Google was quick to downplay any controversy.
A spokesperson said: “The technology is used to flag images for human review and is intended to save lives and save people from having to do highly tedious work.
“Any 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.”
Project Raven will use intelligent machines to identify objects in up to 38 categories, with the aim of speeding up military intelligence operations.
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