Google reportedly won’t renew its controversial military AI contract

Google draws up guidelines for its military AI following employee fury

Google draws up guidelines for its military AI following employee fury

Under the program, which Google entered in September a year ago, the company has provided the military with artificial intelligence software to perform real-time analysis of drone surveillance footage. Despite Google's assurances that the project was "specifically scoped to be for non-offensive purposes", an internal petition signed by over 4,000 employees demanded that Google leave the project.

As well, the report claims that Google will be unveiling a new set of ethical principles some time next week, those related to artificial intelligence. Google will continue work on the project through March 2019, according to multiple people with knowledge of the announcement, but once the 18-month contract concludes, it will not be renewed.

At an event at the beginning of May, Lt. Col. Garry Floyd, a deputy chief at Project Maven, expressed little concern over the soul-searching going on at Google. The company is reportedly pursuing a Pentagon cloud computing contract worth $10 billion.

"Not being able to tap into the enormous talent at Google to help DoD employ AI in ethical and moral ways is very sad for our society and country", he added.

Although tech companies often chase contracts in the United States defense sector, Google's involvement in. "Google should not be in the business of war", Meredith Whittaker, a research scientist affiliated with Google and New York University, wrote on Twitter.

"We value all of our relationships with academic institutions and commercial companies involved with Project Maven", Harris said.


Critics of these protests point out that the DoD used Google tech in the past, and it certainly won't stop developing AI, even if Google ends their contract. The emails also showed plans of eventually expanding revenue from Maven and similar projects to $250 million.

"I don't know what would happen if the media starts picking up a theme that Google is secretly building AI weapons or AI technologies to enable weapons for the Defense industry".

Greene, who pledged yesterday not to renew the project, has also absurdly claimed that the program can not be used for "lethal purposes". The project's goal is to create an AI program that will improve the targeting of drone strikes.

Googlers had shown frustration with the company over Project Maven's potential implications.

For the past several weeks, Google has been embroiled in a scandal over a Department of Defense contract.

In the letter, the staffers argue that the project could "irreparably damage" Google's brand and its ability to retain top talent moving forward.

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