What is Project Nimbus and why are Google employees protesting the Israel deal? | Explanation from News sources

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Last week, Google employees based in the United States staged protests at the tech giant’s offices in New York City, California, and Seattle to oppose a $1.2bn contract with the Israeli government known as Project Nimbus. This joint contract with Amazon signed in 2021 aims to provide cloud computing infrastructure, artificial intelligence (AI), and other technology services to the Israeli government and its military, which has faced condemnation for ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Israel’s military actions in Gaza, which have resulted in the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have raised concerns among tech workers about the potential misuse of AI and other technologies in conflicts. Employees, led by No Tech For Apartheid, are demanding transparency from their employers about how their labor will be used, fearing that technology provided to the Israeli government could be used to commit atrocities.

Despite Google’s reassurances that the Nimbus contract is not directed at highly sensitive or military workloads, employees continue to voice their opposition. This is not the first time tech workers have protested collaborations with militaries, as seen with previous protests against Project Maven with the Pentagon. Other tech companies, such as Palantir, have also been involved in providing tech solutions to the Israeli military.

The collaboration between tech companies and militaries around the world has raised concerns about the ethical implications of using advanced technologies in conflicts. The increasing role of big tech in the military-industrial complex has been highlighted, with reports of contracts worth billions being signed between tech companies and spy agencies. The potential for wrongful deaths and violations of international laws due to the use of AI in warfare is a significant concern among activists and academics.

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