Tara Siler, Tech Reporter, Google discussed on All Things Considered


This is npr news it's k q e d news i'm tara siler after months of protests from employees google has decided it will not seek another contract for its controversial work providing artificial intelligence to the us department of defense project maven is the name of the pilot program launched last year the idea is to take a i and use it to analyze video footage collected by military drones more than a thousand google employees signed a petition against involvement in the project and many others quit cake acuity silicon valley editor tanya moseley talk with gizmodo tech reporter kate conger who's been covering the story since the beginning she asked conger why google employees were so upset by the pentagon contract google that feel that the company should not be involved in any pentagon business whatsoever they feel really strongly that google just shouldn't be in business with the military at all there are other ways that have specific objections to this program particularly around using a are you in this context just sort of the environment that we're in right now there are a lot of people who have a lot of concerns with the current administration and so i think that kind of informs the feeling of not wanting to be involved there's also i think for google irs a really strong sense of identity with the company you know people really feel like they're a part of google and it's a part of who they are and there's the longstanding informal motto is don't be evil and i think that those people feel like this project and military work in general are just sort of the antithesis of what they stand for and there's a lot of conversation about you know how what are the ethical principles that we want to put in place before we arrive at the day where is really deeply intertwined in everything that we do speaking to the sheer number of employees that google mobilized in this effort does this speak to maybe a larger shift and a change around labor organizing in the tech industry here in the silicon valley i mean one of the the things that has been really unique to me about this story is we're starting to see a little bit.

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