SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. high tech firm Microsoft Corporation Friday defended its plan to continue to work with the U.S. military despite objections from its employees who opposed the use of Microsoft technology for warfare.
Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in an official blog post that he and CEO Satya Nadella addressed the employees' concerns about the company's involvement in U.S. military projects at a regular meeting Thursday.
Smith said Microsoft has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) on "a longstanding and reliable basis" for four decades, and Microsoft technology has helped the U.S. troops' front office, field operations, bases, ships, aircraft and training facilities.
"We believe in the strong defense of the United States and we want the people who defend it to have access to the nation's best technology, including from Microsoft," Smith said.
Therefore, Microsoft decides to bid for the DOD's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud project called "JEDI" that will strengthen the DOD's end-to-end IT infrastructure, he added.
He said he understood some employees' worries about new technologies such as artificial intelligence being used to empower weapons to act autonomously and kill people.
Smith asserted that engaging in the public dialogue is a wise way to address new ethical and policy issues created by new technology.
Withdrawal "from this market is to reduce our opportunity to engage in the public debate about how new technologies can best be used in a responsible way," said the Microsoft president.
"We don't ask or expect everyone who works at Microsoft to support every position the company takes," he said, adding Microsoft respects employees' right to choose a different job post if they don't want to work on certain projects.