Google will not renew their artificial intelligence contract with the Pentagon, following both internal and external complaints, according to a report.
The Hill reported that Google, after “facing internal pressure, told employees during a meeting on Friday that it would not renew its contract with the Defense Department’s flagship AI program, known as Project Maven, after it expires in 2019.”
A number of employees resigned from Google over the contract, which helps the Pentagon “advance technology like surveillance drones, which are used to track the whereabouts of terrorist organizations and uncover devised plots before they unfold.”
Last week, the New York Times reported that Google had been facing an “identity crisis” following the contract, while Google Cloud’s Chief Scientist for A.I. Fei-Fei Li warned colleagues against mentioning weaponized artificial intelligence to the press and public, describing it as “probably one of the most sensitized topics of AI.”
“Avoid at ALL COSTS any mention or implication of AI,” she wrote in an email to colleagues. “Weaponized AI is probably one of the most sensitized topics of AI — if not THE most. This is red meat to the media to find all ways to damage Google.”
In May, Google removed their motto, “Don’t be evil,” from the company code of conduct.