Conference disrupted by protester claiming Google 'builds robots that kill people'


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Google's I/O developer conference was interrupted on two occasions yesterday by protesters. The annual conference in San Francisco takes place to launch Google’s new services and products, and is widely reported on, so it would be an opportune moment for protesters to strike.  

One woman had made a sign reading "develop a conscience", while a man shouted at the stage, “you all work for a totalitarian company that builds machines that kills people!”

Jack Halprin

At another point, the name ‘Jack Halprin’ could be heard shouted aloud. Halprin is a Google lawyer who has been at the centre of a dispute involving a block of flats he purchased in San Francisco. The row is connected to the general discontent felt by some San Francisco residents about the gentrification of the area and increasing house prices due to the well paid tech workers who work in Silicon Valley.

The sign a protester had made read "stop Jack Halprin from evicting SF teachers".

“Robots that kill people”

The robots heckle is presumably linked to Google’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics last year, a firm that had developed high-spec robotics for the US military.

At the time of acquisition Google said it would uphold existing contracts Boston Dynamics had with the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).