Emphasizing that Google should not be in the business of war, employees of Google have opposed ‘Project Maven’, a project for the US military. This project involves using artificial intelligence to improve the precision of military drone strikes.
The employees stated in the open letter: “We ask that Project Maven be canceled and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology."
While the head of Google's cloud business, Diane Greene, has assured employees that the technology would neither be used to launch weapons nor to operate or fly drones, the employees are still not satisfied. They believe that the company is putting users' trust at risk, as well ignoring its moral and ethical responsibility.
As per the report, Maven is a well-publicized Department of Defense project and Google is working on one part of it. It is specifically scoped to be for non-offensive purposes. The models are said to be based on only unclassified data. And the technology is used to flag images for human review with intent to save lives and save people from having to do highly tedious work.
The employees of Google still seem to remain cautious and skeptical about the project and don’t want to jeopardize the trust of their users.
“Building this technology to assist the US government in military surveillance - and potentially lethal outcomes - is not acceptable," wrote Google employees in an open letter.
Google has not ignored the issue and is working on developing policies for the use of its artificial intelligence technologies.
They shared that any military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns and are said to be actively engaged across the company in a comprehensive discussion of this important topic. Google has also reached out to outside experts, to develop their policies around the development and use of their machine learning technologies.