Following similar action against secretive AI drone imaging program for the US military, Project Maven, Googlers are once again organising internally to push back against their leadership — this time around a project dubbed Dragonfly, the proposed search product the company intends to build for the Chinese market in accordance with government-mandated censorship.
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Tensions are high within Microsoft, as new scrutiny is given to a partnership between the company's Azure Government cloud computing arm and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to several Microsoft employees who spoke to Gizmodo on the condition of anonymity. Two were considering leaving the company based on the response.
Google is committing to not using artificial intelligence for weapons or surveillance after employees protested the company's involvement in Project Maven, a Pentagon pilot program that uses artificial intelligence to analyse drone footage. However, Google says it will continue to work with the United States military on cybersecurity, search and rescue, and other non-offensive projects.
Google will not seek to renew its artificial intelligence contract with the US Department of Defence after it expires next year, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene told employees last week. But despite the revelation that the contract has an end date, the pushback against it continues - within the company and externally.
Google has pressed forward with its effort to provide artificial intelligence solutions to the US Department of Defence, despite an internal employee petition against the company's involvement in a pilot program that analyses drone footage using AI and the resignations of around a dozen employees who objected to the program.
It's been nearly three months since many Google employees, and the public, learned about the company's decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, about a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the company's continued involvement in Maven.
Google employees have spent the past few months pushing back against their company's involvement in Project Maven, a US Department of Defence initiative to enhance image processing of drone footage using artificial intelligence. As Gizmodo first reported, Google is contracted with the DoD to provide artificial intelligence for Project Maven - a decision that many employees opposed because they did not think it was appropriate for Google to develop battlefield technology.