Microsoft’s Ethical Dilemma


Ehan Umatiya, Reporter

Microsoft has run into a dilemma with its workers in outrage after the giant tech company signed a 480 million dollar deal with the U.S. army causing the engineers to become upset about not being told what their developments were being used for. The developers were quoted saying that “the deal has crossed the line into weapons development by Microsoft for the first time. They say the use of the company’s HoloLens augmented reality technology under the contract is designed to help people kill.”

This is leading to concerns on how ethical military use of tech is. If tech becomes intertwined with war some people believe that war will become much more dangerous with the use of tech. NPR says that “In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith, the workers also say the company is failing to inform its engineers on the intent of the software they are building.” This is also leading to other industries standing up and asking what their work is being used for.

The letter states “The contract’s stated objective is to ‘rapidly develop, test, and manufacture a single platform that Soldiers can use to Fight, Rehearse, and Train that provides increased lethality, mobility, and situational awareness necessary to achieve overmatch against our current and future adversaries,’ ” This basically means that the system is using augmented reality to identify targets, obstacles, and threats. This is meant to supposedly keep the army safer and more secure. This is leading to a question on whether the tech was built with this purpose in mind.

The engineers and designers are mad at the corporation saying that when they designed the tech Microsoft gave them no warning of the military contract. I believe this is a disgusting money grab and I hope that this is not a forecast for big tech’s future.