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"We are urged that Microsoft work to provide weapon technology to the US military and help a country's government increase mortality" using tools we built. We did not register to develop weapons, and we demand an expression of how our work is used, "the letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith, who was posted to Twitter, said.
Employees represent the latest big tech backlash that come from Silicon Valley itself, as workers demand more of an expression of how technical products are used and how a number of groups are internally treated.
10 DIGITAL THINKERS YOU WANT TO KNOW YOU KNOW NOW Back in November, according to Microsoft employees, the company awarded an annual contract to the US Army with the stated goal of "rapidly developing, testing and producing a single platform that the soldiers can use to fight, practice and train for increased mortality. , mobility and situational awareness needed to achieve overmatch against our current and future opponents. "
Workers demand that Microsoft cancel the contract, cease to develop all weapon technologies, develop a policy of public compliance with acceptable use of such technology, and appoint an independent, external ethical review board with power to enforce compliance.
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Microsoft's HoloLens has a number of potential applications in non-military environments, including hospitals, factories and schools.
In October, Smith a blog in support of tech giant's military work, and wrote "we believe in the strong defense of the United States, and we want those who defend it to access the nation's best technology, including from Microsoft. "
A number of Google employees were seated last year over the company's Pentagon AI project and Mountain View, California eventually pulled it off. A group of 450 Amazon employees in October protested that the company's face detection software was being sold for law enforcement
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A Microsoft spokesperson gave Fox News with the following statement on Sunday:
"We gave this question carefully and outlined our perspective in a blog from October 2018. We always appreciate the feedback from employees and provide many opportunities for their voices to be heard. In fact, we heard from many employees throughout the fall. As we said then, we are committed to providing our technology to the US Department of Defense, which includes the US Army under this contract. As we have said, we will remain engaged as an active corporate citizen in addressing the important ethical and public policy issues of AI and the military. "