Microsoft has responded to critics – some of them on payroll – about their decision to continue selling the technology…
Microsoft has responded to critics – some of them on payroll – about their decision to continue selling the technology to the US military, including the latest bid for a nice $ 10 billion contract tendered by the Pentagon.
There are three reasons President Brad Smith said in a blog, the company should not hold calls from any employees to get back from the latest project or others, with the Defense Department (DoD).
“First, we believe in strong defense by the United States and we want the people who defend it to gain access to the nation’s best technology, including Microsoft,” Smith said.
Then, AI creates new ethical and political issues “in the context of” weapons and warfare “, and it would be wrong to deprive anyone of this about Microsoft’s” knowledge and voice as corporate citizens. “
He said that AI, increased reality and other technologies posed deep questions, not least which was the development of weapons that can act autonomously.
“We can not expect these new developments to be dealt with wisely if the people in the technology who feel most of the technology are withdrawing from the conversation.”
The third point said Smith is that Microsoft estimates that not all of its employees agree with either or any of its previous two points. And that’s just fine.
“We do not ask or expect takes us all who work on Microsoft to support every position the company takes. We also respect the fact that some employees work in, or may be citizens of, other countries, and may not want to work for certain projects.
He continued: “As always, our employees want to work on another project or Team – for whatever reason – we want them to know that we support talent mobility. Given our size and product diversity, we often open jobs across the company and we want people to look for the work they want to do, including through Microsoft’s HR Team. “
Microsoft has been working with the DoD for” four decades “, Smith says, and the use of its technology can be found” throughout the US military “who operates” front office, field operations, bases, ships, aircraft and training facilities “.
So it does not seem surprising that Microsoft decided to bid 10-billion USD 10 billion – Pentagon Joint Corporate Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). A controversial contract in that only a cloud supplier tries to handle the whole thing. It’s obviously controversial with Microsoft’s staff for a completely different reason.
On October 12, Microsofties on Medium published a letter to the top brass and urged them to withdraw from the JEDI bid, which they described as “comprehensive and enveloped in confidentiality.”
Just a few days earlier, Google confirmed that it was pulling out the action and said that JEDI was in violation of its “values”. Oh, and Google “also decided that there were some parts of the contract that were not in scope with our current government certifications.”
Microsoft has no such issues: it believed that in May 2018 it could meet all security requirements.
June discovered that Google would not renew its contract with DoD’s Project Maven, where Google developed AI algorithms to ID objects in videos taken by drones. Some 3,000 employees had previously written an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pinchai, declaring that “Google should not be in war action”.
Smith on Microsoft said in his blog that he and CEO Satya Nadella had met staff to deal with the “complex issues” of technology and military at a monthly Q & A company on October 25th.
He said that JEDI will “restructure the Ministry of Defense’s final IT infrastructure, from the Pentagon to support field level of the country’s soldiers and women. The contract has not been awarded, but it is an example of what kind of work we are committed to doing . “
Microsoft” easily decided this summer “to compete for JEDI in view of its long-term support for DoD. “All of us who live in the country depend on their strong defense”.
“We want the people of this country and especially the people who serve the country to know that we have Microsoft’s backs. They will have access to the best technology we create,” Smith says.
Sincerely. 19659024] Woman looks skeptical. Photo of shutterstock “/>
Steve Brazier, CEO of Canalys, told a room full of retailers and distributors at the recent EMEA Channels Forum that they are increasingly in “political places.”
This may concentrate on whether they sell Russian software or clouds from Chinese companies. For suppliers, this may extend to AI and the military through attitudes towards LGBT in some parts of the world.
“What marks you will stop and avoid are becoming increasingly decisions that go down to your personal ethos and how you want Your company should see and behave.
“In countries where there is a very strong rise of nationalism, at which time you have a duty as an individual and business manager to speak out to it, provided you are against it,” he said.
Microsoft, on the military and technology, has been quite emphatic: “As for the US military, like a company, Microsoft will be engaged,” Smith concluded.
“It’s interesting to see if DoD feels the same in terms of awarding JEDI to the end – the department extended the deadline for proposals from suppliers due to a technical issue and bid performance including one of Oracle.