Facing Criticism, The Army to show how they will use the New Technology.
Two years ago, Microsoft announced that they entered into a contract with the United States Army; but since then there has been criticism surrounding this contract. How much was this contract? Four Hundred and Seventy-Nine Million Dollars, even though there you have countries there are using the HoloLens technology already in their military such as Australia, Ukraine, and Israel. But with success comes Scrutiny, workers at Microsoft balked at the contract, even getting to the point of publishing an Open Letter to CEO Satya Nadella and Legal Chief Brad Smith.
It raised the question: “How will this Technology be used and what would the System look?” The Army gave CNBC an early demo of its new IVAS (Integrated Visual Augmentation System) which uses a modified HoloLens 2 to provide both combat assistance and training. Some would describe it as a real-life game of “Call-Of-Duty” you can see your Squad’s position on the map, provided a compass and even your weapon’s reticle.
During training, the IVAS can provide data to help improve performance, such as the wearer’s gaze and heart rate. Instructors can now coach soldiers on their aim or room-clearing techniques. But since the existing HoloLens 2 is too big to work with on helmets, However, one Army Leader will expect a HoloLens 2 unit that is Sunglasses sized within six months. To do that you would have to count for how many components it would involve for the helmet or the soldier’s body; the development on the IVAS has only been going on for months. “Thousands and thousands” of soldiers could be using IVAS by 2022 and 2023, Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said, with a wider deployment by 2028.
Like many Demos, this was meant to sell people on the concept and allay the concerns of people who think that the technology meant for peace and perverting it into technology made for destruction. The Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy doesn’t perceive it that way, he argues that it could minimize civilian casualties. One soldier who participated in the testing said “this really amounted to consolidating “multiple systems” that can only handle some of what IVAS does.” Microsoft’s CEO defends the contract, telling CNN:
“We made a principled decision that we’re not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy, We were very transparent about that decision and we’ll continue to have that dialogue [with employees], Microsoft was “clear-eyed about the responsibility we have as a corporate citizen. It’s not about taking arbitrary action by a single company, it’s not about 50 people or 100 people or even 100,000 people in a company, It’s really about being a responsible corporate citizen in a democracy.“Satya Nadella
Legal Chief Brad Smith defends his decision, quoted “All of us who live in this country depend on its strong defense,” he wrote in the blog. “The people who serve in our military work for an institution with a vital role and critical history.“
However, this doesn’t change some of the core objections from Microsoft’s staff and other critics. Part of their issue is simply that Microsoft committed to a military project without any input. The showcase may take some of the sinister edge of the technology, but it’s not going to give workers a say.
The only thing about Technology is that with no matter how advance it becomes, there will always be someone or something out there to pervert something that is made for peace into something for destruction. –Red
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