A large amount of cloud workers were unknowingly cooperating with Google's AI military application plan

by CyberRabbit

In March of 2018, Google was reported to be in tie-up with the Pentagon (Pentagon) of the Department of Defense to support the development of AI to analyze images taken by Drone. The fact that Google collaborated with this project called " Project Maven " that the Pentagon is advancing has received strong opposition from Google employees, but as a result of the fact that Google has launched a cloud worker from around the world for Project Maven It is clear that you had hired.

Google Hired Gig Economy Workers for Project Maven

A big opposition came from employees inside Google due to the news that Google partnered with the Pentagon to cooperate in the military application of AI. In April 2018, thousands of employees have also developed into a situation where petition is submitted as Thunder Pichai, "Google should not be involved in military technology development" to CEO.

More than 3,000 Google employees should petition petition to CEO Pichai, "We should stop cooperating with Department of Defense" - GIGAZINE

Google, which received a strong opposition, announced in June 2018 that "We do not use AI technology for weapons development." As a result, Google decides not to make a new contract with the Pentagon, and in March 2019, waiting for the original contract to end, it is to leave Project Maven.

Google announced "Do not use AI technology for weapons development", announced "Principles of AI development" - GIGAZINE

But according to Intercept reported February 5, 2019, Google hires a cloud worker (Gigwakers) from all over the world for Project Maven, and a large number of workers are unaware of it to develop Pentagon's military technology It was revealed that it was cooperated.

" Gig economy " is a way of working to receive orders for a single job through the net and a term referring to its economic form, where workers receiving a single job are called Gigwakers. Among them, the job of Gigwalker, which is recruited at many crowdsourcing sites, is a very monotonous repetition task, and it seems that individuals may earn less than 1 dollar (about 110 yen) per hour. Google used such a gigwalker and was playing a part of AI development to be utilized militarily.

The purpose of Project Maven is to allow AI on the drone to distinguish objects on the video. In order to make AI distinguish an object, it is necessary for someone to first label an object in the image in the wind such as "This object is a tree, this object is a building, this object is a human being". Therefore, Google ordered the task to the crowdsourcing site, and made the labeling of the object on the image.


According to Intercept, in October 2017, Google ordered image data labeling work on CrowdFlower (now its name changed to figure Eight ). Figure Eight provides the world's largest digital platform that registered gigwagers receive orders for data labeling and other work to be paid, Google's requests are also registered in Figure Eight Gigwalkers worldwide It is said that it was carried out by.

Will Pleskow, Figure Eight's account executive, said that when he interviewed Intercept in September, 2018, figure Eight's gigwalker was working without knowing it was a task related to Google's Project Maven I acknowledged. Pleskow says that the situation where the gigwalker does not know the information of the ordering party is unusual for gig economy.

"The gigwalker we have has an option to know the information of the ordering party, but in many cases the ordering source wishes" anonymous ", so eventually I do not know the ordering source at the gigwalker," Pleskow He said that he said. In Figure Eight, we are also receiving orders for similar image labeling work for studies on improving the accuracy of automatic driving cars, so just because we received an order for image labeling work from Figure Eight, that was related to Google's weapons development It is said that it can not be said to be one.

According to the person who actually performs work got from Figure Eight as a gigwalker, in many cases Gigwakers do not know about information on the order placement. Also, about the work that I am doing, I will only explain to the extent that "Please surround the product around the product so that the machine can recognize the product".

by hamonazaryan 1

Virtually all crowdsourcing companies have classified Gigwalkers as mere contractors, not employees, and are excluded from provisions such as minimum wages and overtime wages. Furthermore, because the task can be carried out on the net, the gigwalker is dispersed all over the world such as Venezuela, Indonesia, Russia as well as the United States. Since only tasks that are opaque and individualized are given, it is almost impossible for gigwalkers to question questions about the attitude and ethics of the company that ordered.

Google has been in a situation where it is difficult to reach out to military-related projects due to a strong opposition from employees, but since the military industry is aggressive in adopting AI, many major IT companies are engaged in military industry We are aiming to advance to. Under such circumstances, Intercept says that companies may have more ways to make gigwagers take part in military projects in order to avoid repelling from employees.

Juliet Schor , professor of sociology at Boston University, insists that "workers have absolute right to know what they are doing." Companies have infringed on the basic rights of workers in the workplace while strengthening the management of workers and the state has tolerated it, but the time has come to say that the time has to be overturned, Schor said .

by bruce mars

in Note,   Web Service, Posted by log1h_ik