Google will not renew AI work contract with Pentagon after staff rebellion

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Google will not renew a contract to do artificial intelligence work for the US Pentagon, company sources say.

Employees were resigning due to the ethical concerns they had over Google’s expertise being used in military technology that could lead to the loss of human life.

As such, as New York Times reports, Google took this step, hoping to head off a rebellion by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for lethal purposes. The current deal expires next year.

Diane Greene, who is the head of the Google Cloud business that won a contract with the Pentagon’s Project Maven, said during a weekly meeting with employees on Friday that the company was backing away from its A.I. work with the military, according to a person familiar with the discussion but not permitted to speak publicly about it.

The New York Times report says that “Google’s work with the Defense Department on the Maven program, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes, roiled the internet giant’s work force. Many of the company’s top A.I. researchers, in particular, worried that the contract was the first step toward using the nascent technology in advanced weapons.”

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