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Report: Unit personnel concerned about lack of transparency about military projects

Unity employees question the company’s lack of transparency about its military and public works.

According to a comprehensive report by Waypoint, several employees have expressed concern about the engine manufacturer’s reluctance to stay ahead of staff on projects that can be seen as unethical.

Unity has not been shy about marketing its contracts outside the gaming industry – the company actively demonstrates its work in other industries such as automation, engineering, transportation, government, military and aerospace on the website (as shown below) – but when it comes to discussing the whole the scope of these projects internally, the company is in demand more guarded.

Three sources who spoke to Waypoint claimed that some Unity employees may end up developing technology for military clients without knowing it, mainly because Unity often calls the government and military contracts “GovTech”

; initiatives.

Waypoint also obtained a draft memorandum instructing unit leaders to use terms such as ‘government’ and ‘defense’ instead of ‘military’. Although it is unclear whether the note was ever officially circulated, the language used the numbers with employees’ concerns.

“We must be sensitive to the different values ​​and perceptions that people perceive in our involvement with the government, especially the DoD. [Department of Defense], “reads the note, which also includes a list of” do’s “and” don’ts, “including one that tells employees not to” discuss projects that involve the use of simulated or virtual weapons or training to harm another person. ” “

The review seems to be that Unity employees across a number of disciplines are left in the dark about how their work can be used. For example, a source explained how an engineer can work with an AI tool without knowing that it can be used for military purposes.

“Most Unity AI work gives other public projects authority, so in this way it can be difficult to measure one’s contribution to public projects,” said a source. “It should be very clear when people enter the military initiative part of Unity,” added another.

Although Unity employees can sometimes ask for more information from a manager, it seems that the process of doing so is complicated and in some cases only results in vague answers.

For example, one source explained how they had been tasked with working on what was described as a “location randomization scheme for a government simulation project”, only to find that the technology would be used to simulate explosion residues on virtual runways.

In an effort to reassure employees after they spoke out against an agreement with the oil and gas juggernaut, Schlumberger formed the Unity Sales Ethics Advisory Council (SEAC) to investigate projects and ensure the company avoids problematic customers.

However, the Council on Ethics has also been accused of being blunt, and allegedly provides limited insight into the broader decision-making process. The notion of a unit that forms SEAC to provide ethical oversight without ever explaining how the group works has rubbed some wrong way, and while some employees managed to push the issue during an internal AMA session earlier this year, the responses they received did little. to allay concerns.

“It was not quite the disaster I thought it was going to be, but it was great that a lot of people had questions and they [Unity] had very few answers, “said a source who attended the meeting.

“Whether I work directly for the government team or not, I give the authorities they sell,” said another source. “Do you want to use your tools to catch the villains? Maybe we should not be in the process of defining who the villains are,” added another.

For more insight into the situation in Unity, read the full story at Waypoint.

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