Employees at Microsoft are calling for the company to cancel a multimillion dollar contract which would allow the U.S. Army to use the HoloLens during combat.
This comes after Microsoft won a $480 million bid back in November 2018 to supply prototypes for the Army to use during combat missions and in training, and could eventually lead to the military purchasing over 100,000 headsets.
A group called Microsoft Workers 4 Good posted an open letter to CEO Satya Nadella and president and chief legal officer Brad Smith, urging for the contract to be cancelled and for stricter ethical guidelines to be put into place.
“We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. Military, helping one country’s government ‘increase lethality’ using tools we built,” reads the letter. “We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used."
Microsoft Workers 4 Good is requesting that Microsoft cancel the contract, cease developing weapons technologies, draft a public-facing acceptable use policy, and appoint an independent ethics review board to enforce this policy.
“There are many engineers who contributed to HoloLens before this contract even existed, believing it would be used to help architects and engineers build buildings and cars, to help teach people how to perform surgery or play the piano," the post continues.
On behalf of workers at Microsoft, we're releasing an open letter to Brad Smith and Satya Nadella, demanding for the cancelation of the IVAS contract with a call for stricter ethical guidelines.— Microsoft Workers 4 Good (@MsWorkers4) February 22, 2019
If you're a Microsoft employee you can sign at: https://t.co/958AhvIHO5 pic.twitter.com/uUZ5P4FJ7X