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.
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Google announced on Thursday (June 7) it would not use artificial intelligence for weapons or to "cause or directly facilitate injury to people", as it unveiled a set of principles for the technologies. Chief executive Sundar Pichai, in a blog post outlining the company's artificial intelligence policies, noted that even though Google won't use AI for weapons, "we will continue our work with governments and the military in many other areas" such as cyber security, training, or search and rescue. The news comes with Google facing an uproar from employees and others over a contract with the US military, which the California tech giant said last week would not be renewed. Pichai set out seven principles for Google's application of artificial intelligence, or advanced computing that can simulate intelligent human behaviour. He said Google is using AI "to help people tackle urgent problems" such as prediction of wildfires, helping farmers, diagnosing disease or preventing blindness.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday announced that Google is banning the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software that could be used in weapons or harm others. The company has set strict standards for ethical and safe development of AI. "We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use," Pichai said in a blog post. "As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right. So today, we're announcing seven principles to guide our work going forward. These are not theoretical concepts; they are concrete standards that will actively govern our research and product development and will impact our business decisions."
The chief executive of Google has called for international cooperation on regulating artificial intelligence technology to ensure it is'harnessed for good'. Sundar Pichai said that while regulation by individual governments and existing rules such as GDPR can provide a'strong foundation' for the regulation of AI, a more coordinated international effort is'critical' to making global standards work. The CEO said that history is full of examples of how'technology's virtues aren't guaranteed' and that with technological innovations come side effects. These range from internal combustion engines, which allowed people to travel beyond their own areas but also caused more accidents, to the internet, which helped people connect but also made it easier for misinformation to spread. These lessons teach us'we need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong' in the development of AI-based technologies, he said.
Weeks after facing both internal and external blowback for its contract selling AI technology to the Pentagon for drone video analysis, Google on Thursday published a set of principles that explicitly states it will not design or deploy AI for "weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people." Google committed to seven principles to guide its development of AI applications, and it laid out four specific areas for which it will not develop AI. While Google is rejecting the use of its AI for weapons, "we will continue our work with governments and the military in many other areas," Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post. "These include cybersecurity, training, military recruitment, veterans' healthcare, and search and rescue. These collaborations are important and we'll actively look for more ways to augment the critical work of these organizations and keep service members and civilians safe."