An internal petition calling for Google to stay out of “the business of war” was gaining support Tuesday, with some workers reportedly quitting to protest a collaboration with the US military.
About 4,000 Google employees were said to have signed a petition that began circulating about three months ago urging the internet giant to refrain from using artificial intelligence to make US military drones better at recognizing what they are monitoring.
Tech news website Gizmodo reported this week that about a dozen Google employees are quitting in an ethical stand.
The California-based company did not immediately respond to inquiries about what was referred to as Project Maven, which reportedly uses machine learning and engineering talent to distinguish people and objects in drone videos for the Defense Department.
“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” the petition reads, according to copies posted online.
“Therefore, we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”
– ‘Step away’ from killer drones –
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an internet rights group, and the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) were among those who have weighed in with support.
While reports indicated that artificial intelligence findings would be reviewed by human analysts, the technology could pave the way for automated targeting systems on armed drones, ICRAC reasoned in an open letter of support to Google employees against the project.
“As military commanders come to see the object recognition algorithms as reliable, it will be tempting to attenuate or even remove human review and oversight for these systems,” ICRAC said in the letter.
“We are then just a short step away from authorizing autonomous drones to kill automatically, without human supervision or meaningful human control.”
Google has gone on the record saying that its work to improve machines’ ability to recognize objects is not for offensive uses, but published documents show a “murkier” picture, the EFF’s Cindy Cohn and Peter Eckersley said in an online post last month.
“If our reading of the public record is correct, systems that Google is supporting or building would flag people or objects seen by drones for human review, and in some cases this would lead to subsequent missile strikes on those people or objects,” said Cohn and Eckersley.
“Those are hefty ethical stakes, even with humans in the loop further along the ‘kill chain.’”
The EFF and others welcomed internal Google debate, stressing the need for moral and ethical frameworks regarding the use of artificial intelligence in weaponry.
“The use of AI in weapons systems is a crucially important topic and one that deserves an international public discussion and likely some international agreements to ensure global safety,” Cohn and Eckersley said.
“Companies like Google, as well as their counterparts around the world, must consider the consequences and demand real accountability and standards of behavior from the military agencies that seek their expertise — and from themselves.”
About Article Author
Latest Nigeria News
- Totti: I tried to get Ronaldo, Ibramovich to Roma
- Inter, Icardi disagrees over renewal salary
- Court jails two over Malabu oil bribery scandal
- Messi’s UCL conquest, Ronaldo still ahead
- Mariano Diaz: Wearing the No. 7 shirt is a great responsibility
- 10 champions League shock that shook the world
- Akwa Ibom reiterates commitment to early completion of airport
- Lescott: David Silva is the best player I have ever played with
- Robertson: Sturridge summer up the spirit in our squad
- N3.48bn fraud: Panel sets to arrest Senator Nwaoboshi
- IMF advises Nigeria to focus on structural reforms
- Group berates MTN over constant abuse of extant laws
- 16 Proven Health Benefits, Uses Of Coconut Oil
- Amaju Pinnick re-elected NFF president
- France, Belgium tops latest FIFA rankings
- Ferdinand: Ronaldo’s tears, so emotional
- Notorious Armed Robber/Cultist Shot Dead In Lagos
- Oshiomhole Settles With Governors; States Can Decide Mode Of Primaries
- Story of 12yrs Old Orphan Left to Care for 4 Kids After The Death of Her Elder Sister
- Lagos 2019: Ambode, Fashola dare Tinubu
- Nigeria, Congo to account for 40% of world’s poorest soon – Report
- Drilling slows in Nigeria but oil production rose
- FG to gather N17bn from sale of 21% stake in Nigeria Security Printing & Minting Coy
- Trump tells OPEC to lower oil prices
- Multiple shooting in Maryland
- So Beautiful! Female Corper & Her Baby Dress In NYSC Outfit For Birthday Shoot
- Amaju Pinnick Wins NFF Election, Re-elected For 2nd Term
- Speaker Dogara Arrives PDP Headquarters
- Buhari's Corruption Fighter, Obono-obla Under Pressure To Resign Over 'Fake' WAEC
- Children Surprise Dad With The Car He Sold To Pay For Their Mom’s Treatment
- Tinubu Shed Tears At Meeting With Buhari Over Ambode
- See Cute Photo of Jay Jay Okocha & His Handsome Son
- Wife Scalds Husband With Hot Water During A Fight Over Food
- Robbers Break Into Lagos Canteen, Cart Away Pots Of Soup and Other Foods
- Meet Akintola Williams, First Chartered Accountant In Africa
- Thief Tries To Have S*x With Lady While She Was Sleeping... and this happened
- Telcos to fund researches, innovations, says NCC boss
- Misapplication of funds: President fires Minister
- Why 9mobile takeover is being delayed – NCC
- End of road for Air Nigeria