Google Says It Won't Allow Its Artificial Intelligence in Military Weapons

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In a new 8,000-word set of ethicals principles and guidelines, Google outlined how it plans to manage--and in some cases limit--the application of artificial intelligence, a powerful and emerging set of technologies that Google views as key to its growth. Google, the primary business unit of Alphabet Inc., GOOGL -1.09% has recently come under criticism from its own employees for supplying image-recognition technology to the U.S. Department of Defense, in a partnership called Project Maven. Google told employees earlier this month it wouldn't seek to renew its contract for Project Maven, a person familiar with the matter said at the time, and that decision in turn was blasted by some who said the company shouldn't be conflicted about supporting national security. Google's artificial intelligence also recently generated public alarm after the company demonstrated a robotic voice that can trick humans into thinking it is real. Google is having to expand its definition of ethics as its technology seeps more and more into the institutions of public life, from scientific research to military intelligence.