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3100 Google employees protest company’s involvement in Pentagon drone project

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Last month we posted an article about Google’s involvement in the United States Department of Defense’s Project Maven.

To refresh your memory, Maven is a machine-learning venture that harnesses the power of AI to support the functionality and missions carried out by US military drones.

Google experts have been assisting DoD in developing algorithms which analyze drone footage captured during flyovers of large swathes of land (primarily in war zones). The AI helps the drone better recognise objects it flies over high in the sky including cars, buildings and, you know… people. This involvement, which may date back to July 2017, was kept quiet until Gizmodo broke the story this March.

Unsurprisingly some Google employees were horrified to find that their company, whose motto is “Don’t be evil”, was lending a hand to military (and by extension, the killing of people) without their knowledge.

Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, has claimed that the tech-giant’s involvement with DoD was purely in a ‘non-military capacity’. This statement has clearly rang hollow with many employees.

UK-based watchdog, Airwars, reports that coalition drone strikes have killed a minimum of 6238 civilians in operations in Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia and other countries.

The employee letter, which was addressed to current CEO Sundar Pichai begins:

“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war”

The full letter, originally published by the New York Times is below:

The protest letter sent by Google Employees to CEO, Sundar Pichai

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