There has been a great deal of concern as of late over the wanton intrusion that companies such as Google and Facebook are making into our lives.
The two gargantuan pieces of internet society have long held dominion over a massive berth of the nation’s overall bandwidth. This monopoly on information is just as dangerous as it sounds, but, given the convenience provided to us by these organizations, we tend to overlook what could become extremely serious infractions of our own personal sovereignty.
In data collection alone this can be terrifying. Facebook in particular has been on the cutting edge of studying human behavior in order to maximize their advertisers’ dollar, even going so far as to suggest using your smartphone’s camera to track your eye movements when you are viewing ads, or listening in to your TV schedule in order to customize your ad experience.
Now, as Google forays into this field of data as well, some engineers are growing concerned about the search engine company’s contracts within the government. Particularly, a new program this is looking to created an artificial intelligence with a killer instinct.
About a dozen Google employees have resigned in protest over the company’s involvement in a Pentagon AI program known as Project Maven.
“Project Maven focuses on computer vision — an aspect of machine learning and deep learning — that autonomously extracts objects of interest from moving or still imagery,” according to Marine Corps Col. Drew Cukor.
“There is no ‘black box’ that delivers the AI system the government needs, at least not now,” he said. “Key elements have to be put together…and the only way to do that is with commercial partners alongside us.”
That’s where Google comes in. But some employees have resigned due to ethical concerns of AI in drone warfare as well as worries about Google’s political motivations for participating in a such a project.
Now, if this sounds like some sort of Skynet – Black Mirror crossover, you’d be right. And to think that this will be at all safe is foolish as well. A number of leading experts in the field of A.I. have already warned against any further forward progress in the field until we have a better understanding of the possible implications.