Google ends Pentagon Artificial Intelligence project

Avatar By Le Williams | 3 years ago

Google Inc. reveals its decision in declining to renewal of military contracts involving artificial intelligence work for the US Pentagon, company sources report.

The rejection follows strong opposition stemming from the technology company’s workforce. Multiple Google employees resigned and thousands of others signed a protest petition against taking part in the Pentagon project, known as Maven.

Employees demonstrated their concerns with using artificial intelligence for lethal purposes.

Top executive Diane Greene told Google staff on Friday that there would be no follow-up after the current contract expired in March 2019, according to the company’s internal sources.

Gizmodo’s technology journalist Kate Conger told the BBC that Google had not canceled Project Maven and did not appear to have ruled out future work with the military.

The contract is reported to be worth less than $10 million to Google with a potential to lead towards more extensive cooperation with the Pentagon.

Project Maven involves using machine learning and engineering talent to distinguish people and objects in drone videos.

In April, up to 4,000 Google employees signed an open letter saying that by its involvement in the project the internet giant was putting users’ trust at risk, as well as ignoring its “moral and ethical responsibility”.