Discontent at Unity: employees criticize the use of their work in military contracts for the US military

Unity did not inform employee that their creations would be used in military technologies, according to report.

The collaboration between Unity and the military is public knowledge. Unity has had a relationship with the US military since 2011 and they state this on their website. The problem comes when the company does not clearly inform its employees that the project they are working on is actually a military contract for war purposes. Which creates an obvious dilemma among workers who signed up for a video game company, hoping to work only on creating tools and engines for video games.

Three different company sources tell the aforementioned media that employees are unhappy about the lack of transparency around military contracts. Although most focus on Artificial Intelligence tasks, the multidisciplinary approach of these tasks means that many employees from other departments collaborate unknowingly in the development of military technologies. “Most of Unity’s work in AI helps other government projects, so it is difficult to estimate an individual’s contribution to those projects,” says one of the sources.

They also believe that the other tools they create may end up being used by other projects that are part of such military contracts, unknowingly collaborating with the US military In response to this report, Unity CEO John Riccitiello , has issued a statement stating that the company has “an exhaustive review process and we have not supported , nor will we support, proposals that we know violate our principles or values .”

Likewise, a Unity representative tells VICE that “we believe in freedom of expression and since the Unity engine is a tool , one that can be downloaded and used by almost anyone, it is impossible for us to control or censor all uses that you are given “. For their part, and always based on the sources of this medium, the majority of Unity employees are angry with the company after the statement of their leader, discovering that they work with the army without knowing it.

The reaction has been mixed,” says one of the sources. ” The majority group is pissed off to find out. There is another group that is confused or upset, but they prefer to wait to read the report before judging […] and then there is a small group of men, mainly executives and management, who believe that we should just ‘support our troops’ and that anything other than dropping the bombs ourselves is totally fine. “

Some of the things we are reading are 100% true,” Riccitiello acknowledged to his employees by internal messaging, shared by VICE. “Others are not. Others are an opinion based on partial information.” The Unity leader will meet with employees on Tuesday in the face of what appears to be a very difficult situation for the company , with disgruntled employees and a significant moral dilemma to resolve. A similar situation, but somewhat different from that of Activision Blizzard, who face an internal revolt not because of external contracts, but because of an internal culture of harassment and discrimination .

Leave a Reply