Google will end Project Maven military contract in 2019

Above: Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Google is ending its involvement with Project Maven, the controversial Pentagon research program that sought to improve object recognition in military drones with artificial intelligence.

Diane Greene, head of Google Cloud, told employees during a Friday meeting that the company will let its current contract with the Defense Department lapse in 2019, and that it will not pursue a new one, according to the New York Times and Gizmodo. The announcement comes shortly after Google said it would draft an ethics policy to guide its involvement in future military projects — one that would explicitly ban the use of AI in weaponry.

“It is incumbent on us to show leadership [in the ethical use of AI],” Green reportedly said during the meeting.

I am happy about this decision.

However, I can’t say I’m not disappointed by how this has been handled.

If you know it to be wrong, do not do it. If you know it to be false, do not say it.

The decision was made in light of the internal and external controversy generated by Project Maven, according to Gizmodo. Since news of Google’s involvement became public in March, more than 4,000 employees — including Jeff Dean, who oversees Google’s AI research — have signed an open letter urging the company to reconsider, and dozens have resigned in protest. AI researchers and executives at London-based Google subsidiary DeepMind, meanwhile, have distanced themselves from the program, citing a 2014 acquisition agreement between the companies that preclude Google from…

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Peter Bordes

Exec Chairman & Founder at oneQube
Exec Chairman & Founder of oneQube the leading audience development automation platfrom. Entrepreneur, top 100 most influential angel investors in social media who loves digital innovation, social media marketing. Adventure travel and fishing junkie.
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