Over 50% of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce employees are willing to create AI software for law enforcement

Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce has recently faced backlash from their own employees for specific cases where the AI software was being developed for US law enforcement or the military. 

  • Google employees stated, “we believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” in a petition that asked to cease Project Maven- a Pentagon program that was using AI to more accurately target drone strikes. 
  • Microsoft employees mobilized to protest a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), stating that family separation is “inhumane”. They asked for the powerful technology they are building to be “used for good, and not for harm.” 
  • Amazon employees are protesting the company’s partnership with Palantir because Palantir’s software is used by ICE to aide in deportation proceedings and workplace raids. 
  • Salesforce employees asked to end contracts with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) because their software was being used to “manage border activities” and support “its recruiting process”

We decided to ask tech employees, including the four above that have publically faced backlash for contracts with law enforcement, if they are willing to create AI software that could potentially be misused.

 

Key Points:

  • Over 50% of employees at Microsoft, Amazon and Google are willing to create AI/ facial recognition software for law enforcement. 
  • 7 out of 10 employees at Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Salesforce are concerned about the misuse of AI. These are all companies that have recently faced backlash from their employees for partnership with various US law enforcement.
  • Even though employees are concerned the technology they build might be misused, more than half of them are willing to create technologies for the law enforcement (with the exception of Salesforce with 48% answering Yes).

 Microsoft employees, Amazon employees, Google employees, Salesforce employee, Artificial Intelligence, ICE, Pentagon, Project Dragonfly

Microsoft employees, Amazon employees, Google employees, Salesforce employee, Artificial Intelligence, ICE, Pentagon, Project Dragonfly

The Survey: 

Q1: Would you be willing to create AI software used by law enforcement?

Q2: Are you concerned that AI/ facial recognition technology will potentially be misused?

 

Date: 7/10/2019 – 7/17/2019

Total responses: 3,826 unique responses