The controversial government contract that led thousands of Google employees to sign a petition in opposition and dozens to quit in protest will not be renewed, Gizmodo reports. Project Maven has been billed by Google as a small, "non-offensive" deal through which it would provide open-source AI software to the Pentagon that could help the military flag drone images requiring further human review. But the project has been decried by many of the company's employees who believe it could hurt efforts to hold the public's trust and went against Google's "Don't Be Evil" motto. According to three individuals who attended a weekly Google meeting this morning, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene announced that the Project Maven contract would not be renewed when it expires next year. She said the backlash over the deal had been bad for the company and that the contract was pursued during a time when the company was actively seeking military work.
Google has pressed forward with its effort to provide artificial intelligence solutions to the Department of Defense, despite an internal employee petition against the company's involvement in a pilot program that analyzes drone footage using AI and the resignations of around a dozen employees who objected to the program. But Google isn't the only company partnering with the Department of Defense on Project Maven--the artificial intelligence pilot program at the heart of the controversy--and the Pentagon has explored the possibility of working with other major tech firms on Project Maven. The involvement of other tech companies in Project Maven makes the project seem more like a bakeoff between several leaders in the field of artificial intelligence and less like a Google-led effort. It also raises questions about whether employees at other companies will raise the same ethical objections to the program that Google employees have. DigitalGlobe, a Colorado-based firm that specializes in geospatial imagery, reportedly provides images and algorithms to Project Maven.
File photo - A Google carpet is seen at the entrance of the new headquarters of Google France before its official inauguration in Paris, France Dec. 6, 2011. Google will not seek another contract for Project Maven, a controversial military program that uses artificial intelligence to improve drone targeting, according to Gizmodo. Citing three sources with knowledge of the matter, Gizmodo reports that Google will not seek another contract when the current Project Maven contract expires in 2019. The decision was announced by Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene at a meeting with employees Friday morning, it said. Greene reportedly cited the backlash against Project Maven, adding that the firm plans to announce new ethical principles about AI next week.
Google is ending its controversial'Project Maven' deal with the Pentagon. Google Cloud boss Diane Greene informed employees of the decision during an internal meeting on Friday morning, Gizmodo reported, citing sources close to the situation. The contract, in which the Pentagon used Google's artificial intelligence technologies to analyze drone footage, was set to expire in 2019. Greene told employees that it won't be renewing the contract once it expires. Google is calling off its controversial'Project Maven' program with the Pentagon.
Google is committing to not using artificial intelligence for weapons or surveillance after employees protested the company's involvement in Project Maven, a Pentagon pilot program that uses artificial intelligence to analyse drone footage. However, Google says it will continue to work with the United States military on cybersecurity, search and rescue, and other non-offensive projects. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the change in a set of AI principles released today. The principles are intended to govern Google's use of artificial intelligence and are a response to employee pressure on the company to create guidelines for its use of AI. Employees at the company have spent months protesting Google's involvement in Project Maven, sending a letter to Pichai demanding that Google terminate its contract with the Department of Defense.