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Google employees riled up over plan for China

Google employees riled up over plan for China

Pinchai responded by speaking at a weekly meeting at Google's California headquarters, where he said that Google was "not close to launching a search product in China", as per CNet.

At the company meeting on Thursday, Pichai said that Google has been "very open about our desire to do more in China", and that the team "has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now" and "exploring many options", CNBC reported.

Reports surfaced earlier this month that Google was working on a search engine for China that would block sensitive websites and search terms to comply with Chinese government censorship.

The employees are demanding more transparency so they can understand the moral implications of their work, said the Times, which obtained a copy of the letter.

The letter says that employees did not find out about the project, nicknamed Dragonfly, until The Intercept and other outlets reported its existence.

The company outlined how it plans to manage - and in some cases limit - the application of artificial intelligence, a powerful and emerging set of technologies that Google views as key to its growth.

"Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment", they added.

"F-k you", said the male Google employee standing at the microphone during a pivotal moment at the company all-hands meeting on Thursday night. Google has so far refused to comment on the matter. (Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Microsoft staff also criticized their company's $20 million contract with ICE, compelling chief executive Satya Nadella to address the issue.

Two sources who were privy to what occurred in Thursday's meeting told Business Insider that Pichai only briefly addressed - and not in any detailed way - the big question on the minds of many at the company: Why is Google considering a return to China?

Google pulled its search platform from the country eight years ago amid censorship concerns, with co-founder Sergey Brin remarking he saw "some earmarks of totalitarianism" in some aspects of government policy. Now it's up to Google's leadership to listen.

The letter also references the internal revolt over Project Maven, the Pentagon deal in which Google AI was to analyze drone footage-a role that some at Google saw as potentially helping to mark people for death. It left in 2010 over an escalating row with regulators that was capped by what security researchers identified as state-sponsored cyberattacks against Google and other large US firms.