Thousands of Google employees are reportedly boycotting the company after the tech giant signed a deal with the US military.
According to Silicon Valley sources, Google is playing a major role in “Project Maven,” which utilizes customers’ data for military surveillance purposes.
The project relies on Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide information for the military drone, allowing it to instantly process and recognize visual images.
“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” a petition from around 4,000 Google workers read, adding that the project should be canceled as the employees do not want to be involved in any warfare technology.
Meanwhile, Google representatives said that the AI data supplied to the project would be subjected to review by human analysts in order to ensure that these will not be used for offensive missions, clearing doubts that it becomes a stepping stone to the development of armed drones with automatic targetting systems.
Earlier this year, Australian AI Professor Toby Walsh also led a coalition to discredit a South Korean university for allegedly supporting the invention of “killer robots.”
Over 50 AI and robotics researchers from 30 countries around the world heeded Walsh’s call, saying that “it would be a terrifying future if we allow ourselves to go down this road.”