Daily Management Review

Google employees are opposing partnership with Pentagon


04/05/2018


More than 3.1 thousand employees of Google signed a collective letter. They are protesting against the company's participation in the Pentagon's program, which implies use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve accuracy of targeting unmanned military aircraft, the newspaper The New York Times reports.



Neon Tommy via flickr
Neon Tommy via flickr
"We believe that Google should not engage in military business, so we ask to cancel Project Maven, and also to prepare, publish and ensure implementation of a clear and precise policy, according to which Google and its contractors will never create military technologies," a letter from Google employees reads.

The Pentagon began funding Project Maven as early as 2017. According to the message, the purpose of the new technology is monitoring and analysis of video images, which were obtained with the help of US Air Force drones.

The project Maven, also designated by the military as AWCFT (Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team), was launched in April 2017. The main goal of the project is development of a software package that can automatically "review" the many hours of recording from the sensors of drones and identify objects that belong to 38 categories.

Ultimately, such a system will allow the US Department of Defense to track groups and individuals using disparate video from various sources. According to terms of the contract, the system developed under the Maven project was to be created six months after the start of the work.

Presumably, the military is already using a new software package. Gregory Allen of the Center for New American Security in Washington says that in December last year, the US Defense Department used elements of the AI to counter militants of the Islamic State terrorist group in the Middle East.

Other details about the new software package are not disclosed. To accelerate its development, the project also involves experts in the field of artificial intelligence from the Pentagon's Experimental Defense Information Unit, some American universities and the Council for Defense Innovation (created in 2015 by former US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter as an intermediary between the Pentagon and technology companies).

source: nytimes.com






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