Microsoft Staff: Do not use HoloLens for war


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HoloLens allows the user to view digital images in a real world

At least 50 Microsoft employees have asked the company to withdraw from an agreement with the US military to provide augmented reality technology.

Specifically, the team has said that HoloLens headphones should not be used to "help people kill".

In November, Microsoft agreed an agreement of $ 479 million (£ 367 million) to develop a platform that includes soldiers using about 100,000 headphones.

"We always appreciate feedback from employees and we have a lot of ways to hear the voices of employees," said a spokesman for Microsoft.

A letter sent around Microsoft on Friday and seen the BBC was supported by multi-segment employees.

"Microsoft must stop its activities to strengthen the ability of the American Army to cause harm and violence," he says.

"We did not sign up to develop weapons and we ask to talk about how our work is being used".

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HoloLens, which was first released to developers in March 2016, allows the user to view digital images on the real world. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is expected to announce HoloLens 2 at an event in Barcelona on Sunday before the Mobile World Congress.

Military Concern

The letter requires Microsoft to cancel the IVAS, stop developing "any" weapon technology and draft a public policy statement on the subject.

It also calls for the establishment of an "independent, external ethics review board" to oversee compliance with this policy.

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The letter was released internally to Microsoft on Friday

This is not the first time that Microsoft employees have spoken against the government's business project.

In June, with Trump's administration confused in a dispute over family separations at the US-Mexico border, staff have asked the company to stop providing services to the US Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Mr Nadella finally denounces the White House's actions and says Microsoft's technology was only used for office-related formal tasks.

"Wars of War"

With this latest workers' uprising, Microsoft will not have such an easy defense. Under the Convention, the goal is "to increase mortality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage the enemy."

Microsoft understands that it has an extraterrestrial competitor with increased reality, like Magic Leap.

Microsoft's president and senior lawyer Brad Smith said workers who are not satisfied with the nature of the company's military work will be able to work in other departments. However, in the last letter, the officials said the proposal was wrong.

"Microsoft is unable to inform its engineers about the intention of the software they are building.

"There are many engineers who contributed to HoloLens before this contract happens, believing it will be used to help architects and engineers build buildings and cars, help people make surgical interventions or play piano, push the limits play, and connect to the Mars Rover (RIP).

"These engineers have now lost their ability to make decisions about what they are doing instead of being involved as warlords."

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Microsoft is not the only company that faces internal rage for military work. Last year, Google did not renew a contract with the US in Project Maven, an artificial intelligence program in progress with the Pentagon.

However, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said his business would work enthusiastically with the military.

"This is a great country – we have to defend," he said during a stage interview.


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