Tech workers confront AI weapons systems

syndicom calls on tech companies to comply with their responsibility with respect to human rights!

According to reports in the Sonntagszeitung, Google employees fear that systems they develop or services they provide will be used for effectively autonomous, AI-controlled weapon systems. They don't agree with that. They are requesting that the technologies they develop are not used for purposes that violate human rights or exacerbate conflicts. But the tech giant is ruthlessly suppressing their protest. syndicom, the union for employees in the tech industry, has issued a resolution calling on tech companies to take responsibility for the entire value chain and to stop repressing employees.

Link to the syndicom resolution

Google continues to use the motto “Don't be evil”. It has long been known that tech giants such as Google also offer their cloud computing services to armies, including the Israeli defense ministry in the Nimbus project. Since media investigations in April revealed that they use AI targeting systems called “Lavender” and “Gospel,” many tech workers have been unsure whether the technology they are developing is being used for these weapon systems.

Many tech workers ethically object to their work products being used for purposes of war and oppression. They also complain that their employer is not providing them with transparently information about this.

“We call on Google and all tech companies to comply with their responsibilities. They must ensure that their technologies are not used to violate human rights or exacerbate conflicts,” says Miriam Berger, Central Secretary at syndicom. “To this end, we call on tech companies to provide employees with transparent information and to publicly commit to and enforce ethical principles.”

syndicom shares the concerns of its employees. What is particularly reprehensible is that the Google Group in the USA has already fired employees who have advocated for compliance with these principles. This creates a climate of fear and the previously open corporate culture is being abandoned.

In a resolution, syndicom is requesting that no one who supports democratic and constitutional principles should suffer professional disadvantages, and that tech companies comply with their responsibility. Ultimately, politicians also have a duty to regulate AI as globally as possible and ban its use as a weapon.


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