Watch: Row over Google's US military AI project 'Maven', several employees quit

Google workers are walking off the job at Google in protest of the tech giant’s role in a military project with the United States military. Photograph:( WION )

Delhi, India May 17, 2018, 07.58 PM (IST)

Google's Artificial Intelligence programme for the Pentagon has met with severe opposition from its employees. Nearly 4000 Google employees have signed a petition to roll back the project more than dozens have already quit.

Google's ambitious AI programme, Project Maven, aims to work with the US military and facilitate easy and faster analysis of footage captured by military drones.

Through machine learning, Google's AI assistance would help the military distinguish people, object and spot targets easily. However, employees at Google have questioned the project on ethical grounds. 

The internal petition, that seeks Google to rollback the project, involves nearly 4000 employees who want Google to stay out of the "business of war". Some petitioners have called for a treaty against autonomous weapons systems. 

Google, for now, continues with the project explaining that the technology used in Maven is open source and that the US military can access it with or without Google's direct involvement.

Time and again, Google has maintained that it will not apply AI for combat operations.