Google won't renew drone AI contract with Pentagon: report

Google won't renew drone AI contract with Pentagon: report
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Google will not seek another contract with the Department of Defense to provide artificial intelligence for drone warfare, according to a Gizmodo report.

Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene reportedly announced the decision on Friday during a weekly internal meeting.


Greene said that the contract is set to expire in 2019 and that Google will not pursue a follow-up bid, according to Gizmodo.

She said the decision was the result of backlash the company has faced since details of its drone warfare artificial intelligence (AI), Project Maven, were reported. Earlier this month, thousands of Google employees signed a letter asking the company to drop its contract with the government over Project Maven, and a dozen quit in protest as well.

Google is reportedly set to announce a new set of ethical principles regarding its use of AI next week.

Google executives initially defended the project, saying that it was not a significant portion of the company’s bottom line.

Emails obtained by The Intercept and The New York Times on Thursday, however, reveal that Google’s business development team expected its revenue from AI drone projects with the military to eventually expand from $15 million a year to $250 million.

According to the emails, Google executives saw Maven as a way to pave the way for even larger contracts down the road.