Google employees are quitting the internet giant over the company’s work with “Project Maven”, a drone program that is using artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help analyze huge amounts of captured surveillance footage.

Billed as a way of maintaining “advantages over increasingly capable adversaries,” the project is formally known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team. Its objective is “to turn the enormous volume of data available to DoD into actionable intelligence and insights at speed” for human analysts.

More than 3,000 Google staffers signed a petition in April in protest at the company’s focus on warfare. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” it read. “Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”

An open letter calling for change was published Monday by the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), a non-governmental organization (NGO) made up of experts in artificial intelligence (AI), humanitarian law and human rights campaigning. It came as Gizmodo reported that around a dozen Google employees had recently resigned over the firm’s ties to Maven.

Billed as a way of maintaining “advantages over increasingly capable adversaries,” the project is formally known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team. Its objective is “to turn the enormous volume of data available to DoD into actionable intelligence and insights at speed” for human analysts.

More than 3,000 Google staffers signed a petition in April in protest at the company’s focus on warfare. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” it read. “Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”

Working on DOD AI Project Left Some Google Employees “Livid”

Read Next: Working on DOD AI Project Left Some Google Employees “Livid”

The military claims that it is not going to use the project for offensive purposes but they do admit that the program allows them to “enhance their military decision-making”.

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File photo of a drone from Wikipedia