Project Maven: Nearly a dozen Google employees have reportedly quit in protest

Eric Schmidt

It means that a drone would be able to pick out a known terrorist in a crowd and centre any attack on that area.

Remember when 3,100 Google employees signed a protest letter over the use of Google's machine learning algorithms to help drones identify and track objects for the US Department of Defense?

Discussing their decision to leave Google, the employees told Gizmodo that they believe executives are becoming reluctant to discuss business decisions with the workforce.

Meanwhile, scholars and academicians have penned an open letter addressed to Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc Larry Page, CEO of Google Cloud Diane Green and company's other top executives in support of the Google employees and tech workers.

The employees told Gizmodo that Google's leaders had failed to address their concerns about the program and largely ignored their complaints about Google's involvement with the U.S. military in any capacity.

In addition to the letter released by almost 4,000 employees and the petition signed by academics, the Tech Workers Coalition created their own petition criticizing Google not just for Project Maven but for doubling down on the controversy by bidding heavily on a contract to work on the Pentagon's JEDI program, an effort by the military to integrate cloud computing into their work. A few months later, Google was hired for Project Maven.

Irani said that Google should always at least listen to workers but regardless, she would like to see a much larger debate take place across society about autonomous weapons and AI.

"At some point, I realized I could not in good faith recommend anyone join Google, knowing what I knew". SJW Google employees, upset that their employer has the nerve to make money to help build AI drones, have quit and/or signed a strongly worded petition.

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The governors who signed the letter are Henry McMaster of South Carolina , Kay Ivey of Alabama, Jeff Colyer of Kansas, Paul R. LePage of Maine, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Jim Justice of West Virginia, and Eddie Baza Calvo of the us territory of Guam.

Researchers who are critical of Google also posted an open letter worrying about Google providing the Pentagon with "open source "deep learning" technology" along with engineering expertise.

However, the employees in the San Francisco Bay Area have condemned Google's decision of getting into the "business of war". Members of the group are the voice of numerous universities across the world and have urged Google's top management to pay heed to their employees.

"I tried to remind myself right that Google's decisions are not my decisions".

"An important part of our culture is having employees who are actively engaged in the work that we do".

"The technology flags images for human review, and is for non-offensive uses only", a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo in March. Any military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns. Whilst unofficially, we know more than the government admits, Google is bound by what the public knows officially and so, therefore, there's likely to be a lot of discussions where people are prevented from discussing things that everyone knows - something that flies in the face of Google's obsession with transparency.

"Actions speak louder than words, and that's the standard I adhere to".

The experts aren't just concerned about weapons either.

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