‘Don’t be evil’ prevails as Google not renewing controversial military AI project

Share

Though Google employees are reportedly wary about the tech giant entering into the realm of defense contracting, public records consulted by The Outline suggest that Google products - as well as products from companies it has acquired - have been used by America's defense agencies for years.

Indeed, nearly 4,000 of Google employees recently signed a petition asking Google to cancel the project.

Google cloud boss Diane Greene Google Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud, informed employees of the company's decision on Friday, unnamed sources told Gizmodo.

The contract is reported to be worth less than $10m to Google but could potentially lead to more extensive cooperation with the Pentagon.

4,000 Google employees signed a petition demanding "a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology".

Emails from Google managers obtained by Gizmodo show that the project was meant to be more wide-reaching than Google originally indicated. At least a dozen staff resigned over the issue.

Further complicating matters are comments that Google has made about the program.

Project Maven was launched last April as a pathfinder project for ways the military could use AI to update its national-security and defense capabilities "over increasingly capable adversaries and competitors", a DoD memo stated.

Despite the controversy surrounding Project Maven, Google insists "the new artificial intelligence principles under development precluded the use of A.I.in weaponry".

The news sparked outrage in the tech community, and even inside Google.

While the guidelines have yet to take shape, there will likely be continued unrest around Google's Pentagon contract.

Gizmodo reviewed internal emails that showed executives viewed Project Maven as an exciting opportunity to expand its work with the military, but wanted to keep the project under wraps because of concern about how it would impact the company's brand image.

In the wake of revelations about Google's role in a military image recognition project that led to the resignation of about a dozen employees and a petition signed by thousands more, the company has chose to end ties with the program when the current contract expires next year, Gizmodo reports. The emails also showed plans of eventually expanding revenue from Maven and similar projects to $250 million. Many observers noted that Google had previously disavowed military work and had once embraced the slogan "Don't Be Evil" as its corporate ethos.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Reeking passenger caused vomiting, fainting and emergency landing
It is not known whether that relates to the man himself, or the other passengers who were suffering because of the smell. After the pilot reported "passengers on the rampage", the plane landed in Vienna so the men could be removed.

Donald Trump accuses Robert Mueller of leaking secret letter from lawyers
It's unclear whether prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to charge the president with obstructing justice. In a letter to Mueller, Trump's lawyers argued he could not obstruct justice.

Canon officially farewells film with discontinuation of the EOS-1V
When Canon built its very first digital camera in 1986, few would have looked ahead and seen digital killing off film. The company began in 1937 making camera bodies and sourcing lenses from Nikkor, now Nikon.

China rejects ‘ridiculous’ US accusation of South China Sea militarisation
That's a core competency of the United States military that we've done before. Washington also says Beijing could use the islands as military bases.

Apple to debut phone-to-phone augmented reality
One of the tools is created to help users monitor how much time they spend on their devices and inside of certain applications. The 2017 rollout of iOS 11 and ARKit also coincided with the launch of the iPhone X with FaceID facial recognition technology.

Samsung doubles the number of expressive stickers for AR Emoji to 36
From the looks of it, the Galaxy A9 Star Lite resembles the Galaxy A6 and could be a rebranded version of the Galaxy A6 in China. There is 16GB of internal storage in the phone , expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB).

Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Power Plants
Perry will need to give his recommendations to Trump on how the US could keep its "fuel-secure power facilities" open. The federal government has a lot of assets in the Pacific Northwest.

Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk took oath as caretaker prime minister of Pakistan
At his office, the source said, there was no discussion on the cabinet of the interim set-up or who would be its members. It's only the third time in Pakistan's historical past that the Nationwide Meeting completed its five-year time period.

Donald Trump signs bill for terminal patients to try unproven drugs
The bill also offers some legal protections for pharmaceutical companies, doctors or others involved in providing the treatment. President Trump signed the "Right to Try" bill into law on Wednesday, calling it a measure that "will help a lot of people".

England vs. Nigeria - Football Match Report
The 22-year-old reacted quickest to fire home on the rebound after former Watford striker Odion Ighalo struck the post. Sterling lay on the second goal for captain Harry Kane after Cahill had headed England in front inside seven minutes.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.