To: Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

Students Pledge to Refrain from Interviewing with Google Until Commitment not to Pursue Future Te...

We, students, pledge that we will:

First, do no harm.

Refuse to participate in developing technologies of war: our labor, our expertise, and our lives will not be in the service of destruction.

Refrain from interviewing with Google until it fully withdraws from its contract with the Department of Defense (Project Maven) and fully commits not to develop military technologies in the future, nor to allow the personal data it has collected to be used for military operations.

Abstain from working for technology companies that fail to reject the weaponizing of their technology for military purposes. Instead, push our companies to pledge to neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade or use of autonomous weapons; and to instead support efforts to ban autonomous weapons globally.

Why is this important?

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To sign leave a comment with: name, department, school, expected graduation
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We are students opposed to the weaponization of technology by companies like Google and Microsoft. Our dream is to be a positive force in the world. We refuse to be complicit in this gross misuse of power.

In a recent NYT op-ed Stanford prof. Fei Fei Li and Chief Scientist of AI/ML, Vice President of Google Cloud wrote that an important goal of human centered AI is "ensuring that the development of this technology is guided, at each step, by concern for its effect on humans." Technology companies that have vast quantities of sensitive data from users across the globe should not build offensive technology for any country’s military. If Google truly wants to build humane AI, they cannot be in the business of technology for warfare, they must take a stand.

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Project Maven is a United States military program aimed at using machine learning to analyze massive amounts of drone surveillance footage and to label objects of interest for human analysts. Google is supplying not only the open source ‘deep learning’ technology, but also engineering expertise and assistance to the Department of Defense.

According to Defense One, Joint Special Operations Forces “in the Middle East” have conducted initial trials using video footage from a small ScanEagle surveillance drone. The project is slated to expand “to larger, medium-altitude Predator and Reaper drones by next summer” and eventually to Gorgon Stare, “a sophisticated, high-tech series of cameras…that can view entire towns.” With Project Maven, Google becomes implicated in the questionable practice of targeted killings. These include so-called signature strikes and pattern-of-life strikes that target people based not on known activities but on probabilities drawn from long range surveillance footage. The legality of these operations has come into question under international and U.S. law.

- Open letter in Support of Google Employees and Tech Workers, International Committee for Robot Arms Control [3]
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We, students, feel compelled to follow the lead of over four thousand Google employees who have spoken out against Project Maven in a letter to their CEO: “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war.” [1], as well as the dozen who have resigned in protest [2]. Their protests were supported by an open letter signed by over a thousand academics on the International Committee for Robot Arms Control [3]. The Tech Worker’s Coalition has also published a petition signed by over three hundred tech workers, demanding that Google terminate its contract with the Department of Defense (DoD) [4]. On June 1st, 2018 Google announced that it would not extend project Maven [5]. This is a huge win for those who took a stand. But we need much more.

We, students, pledge that we will:

First, do no harm.

Refuse to participate in developing technologies of war: our labor, our expertise, and our lives will not be in the service of destruction.

Refrain from interviewing with Google until it fully withdraws from its contract with the Department of Defense (Project Maven) and fully commits not to develop military technologies in the future, nor to allow the personal data it has collected to be used for military operations.

Abstain from working for technology companies that fail to reject the weaponizing of their technology for military purposes. Instead, push our companies to pledge to neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade or use of autonomous weapons; and to instead support efforts to ban autonomous weapons globally.

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Instructions for signing:
Leave a comment with: name, department, school, expected graduation
To have your student organization sign email us at: stanfordsolidaritynetwork@gmail.com
(postdocs and recent grads are welcome to sign)
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Niloufar Salehi, Computer Science, Stanford University, 2018
Dan Walls, Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2018
Gilbert Bernstein, Computer Science, Stanford University, 2018
Michael Mara, Computer Science, Stanford University, 2018
Mark Whiting, Computer Science, Stanford University, Postdoctoral Scholar
Ali Alkhatib, Computer Science, Stanford University, 2020
Vera Khovanskaya, Information Science, Cornell University, 2020
Sarah Tran, Symbolic Systems, Stanford Univeristy 2020
Afshin Nikzad, Economics and MS&E, Stanford University, 2018
Forest Peterson, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2018
Alex Ahmed, Computer Science, Northeastern University
Jingyi Li, Computer Science, Stanford University, 2022
Elizabeth Murnane, Computer Science, Stanford University, Postdoctoral Scholar
Maryam Aliakbarpour, Ph.D. Student, Computer Science, MIT
Ethan Li, Computer Science, Stanford University, 2018
Palashi Vaghela, Information Science, Cornell University, 2021
Ailie Fraser, PhD Student, Computer Science, UC San Diego
Vineet Pandey, Computer Science, UC San Diego, 2019
Pesho Ivanov, Computer Science, ETH Zurich, Ph.D. student, 2022
Noopur Raval, Informatics, University of California Irvine, 2019
Ameneh Shamekhi, Computer Science, Northeastern University, 2019
Mehrdad Farajtabar, Computational Science and Engineering, Georgia Tech, 2018
Hamid Reza Hassanzadeh, Computational Science and Engineering, Georgia Tech, 2018
Sahar Harati, Biomedical Informatics, Emory University, 2019
Elias Khalil, Computational Science and Engineering, Georgia Tech
Ahmer Arif, Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Wa...

Category


Reasons for signing

  • Olin College of Engineering 2017
  • Patricia Ploehn, Historic Preservation and Community Planning Department, College of Charleston, Graduating May 2019
  • Portland State Computer Science 2020

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