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Google's Military AI Controversy

Tuesday May 15th 2018 by Developer.com Staff

Employees are quitting over Project Maven

Google finds itself embroiled in a controversy surrounding its artificial intelligence (AI) work with the Department of Defense. Last year, the DoD hired Google's cloud computing division to work on Project Maven, an initiative aimed at giving computer vision capabilities to military drones.

When they heard about the project, many Googlers were upset. About 4,000 signed a petition asking Sundar Pichai to halt the project, and now about a dozen employees have quit in protest. They said the military contract is at odds with Google's "Don't be evil" mantra.

On the other side of the issue, Google Cloud chief Diane Greene has been defending Project Maven. She says that the company has worked with the government for a long time and that the drone project could help save lives.

Google is currently competing for other military contracts.

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