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17 May 2018

Carly Cassella, Science Alert

Thousands of Google employees are worried their company will help create autonomous weapons

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In 2018, Google signed a contract for Project Maven, a partnership with the US Department of Defence that seeks to improve the analysis of drone footage using artificial intelligence (AI). The first assignment for Project Maven... is to analyze the intimidating and ever-growing pile of drone footage... [and] if the project is successful, theoretically, it could pave the way for automated target recognition and autonomous weapon systems that require little supervision... For months, over 4,000 Google employees have passionately protested the new contract, and now, about a dozen workers have announced their resignation at the leading tech company. An internal petition at Google argues that the company "should not be in the business of war." Diane Greene, a Google board of directors member, has assured employees that the technology will not "operate or fly drones" or even launch weapons.