Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
‘Google stops controversial cooperation with United States armed forces’
Google is pulling the plug from their controversial collaboration with the Pentagon. The Internet giant and the US Department of Defense are working together on Project Maven, analyzing video images of drones. But the contract that runs until the end of 2019 will not be renewed. Reports on this include The New York Times.
The project is controversial because there is a fear that the data obtained will be used to determine, for example, who should be killed during military missions. Google says that will not happen, but critics doubt that Google can prevent it from happening. The company provided the artificial intelligence to analyze the drone images.
Google did not comment on the media reports about the discontinuation of the collaboration.
At Google, the project led to internal division. According to techsite Gizmodo, at least twelve people were resigning because of the project. An internal petition yielded thousands of signatures and a letter (.pdf) was sent to CEO Sundar Pichai. In the letter, Google employees say that the company should not engage in war and they want the project to be stopped.
If Google would have continued with Project Maven, then, according to military news site Defense One, it would have had a chance of winning a $ 10 billion contract with the Department of Defense. Amazon and Microsoft are also in the race for the contract according to the news site.
Google says it will not renew Project Maven—but collaboration with Pentagon will continue: here.
GOOGLE BOYCOTT A group of influential engineers at Google earlier this year refused to work on a cutting-edge security tool that would allow the company to compete for military contracts. [Bloomberg]
Hundreds of Google employees have protested the company’s moves to build a censored search engine in China, the New York Times reported Friday. The Times article follows an August 1 article by the Intercept reporting that the company has secretly devoted a team of engineers and developers to constructing a search engine that would comply with China’s strict regime of Internet censorship: here.