Microsoft workers demand stricter ethics as HoloLens prepares to kill

Open letter calls for the cancellation of a recently-signed army IVAS contract

Microsoft workers demand stricter ethics as HoloLens prepares to kill

Workers at Microsoft have published an open letter against using their technology for violence.

Calling themselves Microsoft Workers 4 Good, the group is calling on fellow employees at the tech firm to lend their voices to support greater ethical control.

This comes in the wake of Microsoft accepting a $479 million Integrated Visual Augmentation System contract with the United States Department of the Army that would see it apply HoloLens technology to combat scenarios.

Developers who created HoloLens technology object both to their work being used to enhance lethality and dehumanising war by creating more virtual barriers between soldiers and their targets.

War never changes

As seen in the tweet, MW4G requests three things from CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith.

First, cancel the IVAS contract. Second is to immediately halt on any and all weapons development. Finally, MW4G wants Microsoft to appoint an external ethics review board to enforce an acceptable use policy.

The open letter comes just as Microsoft unveiled the new HoloLens 2 AR headset.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.