Google not to renew contract for Project Maven

An internal petition calling for Google to stay out of

An internal petition calling for Google to stay out of"the business of war garnered thousands of signatures and some workers reportedly quit to protest a collaboration with the military

Google will not seek another contract with the Department of Defense to provide artificial intelligence for drone warfare, according to a Gizmodo report.

Gizmodo reported Friday that Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene told employees that while it will fulfill its existing obligations to the Pentagon under the Project Maven contract, it will let its original contract expire in early 2019. Greene said Google chose to work on Project Maven "at a time when Google was more aggressively pursuing military work", Gizmodo reported.

There "will be no follow-on" to the project, she reportedly added.

The project was meant to assist the Defense Department in analyzing drone footage in order to develop new kinds of drone technology. 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.

"We believe that Google should not be in the business of war", the employees wrote.

Google intends to introduce new "ethical principals" next week involving its use of artificial intelligence, Gizmodo reported. The Outline has contacted Google for comment as to why there is not a similar ban on the military use of Google Earth.

Google is not the only tech firm working with the U.S. military.

Furious staff members have flooded message boards, attended fractious meetings, created anti-Maven stickers, and resigned in protest.

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Leaked internal emails also revealed that Google tried to hide the scope of its dealings with the Pentagon.

Google was anxious it could get negative press because of Maven, and that the company's involvement with the project would taint its reputation, the leaked emails suggest.

Wow. Kudos to all the Google employees who forced the company's hand on this.

The decision comes amid strong opposition within the technology giant's workforce to the Pentagon project known as Maven. Google announced in April that it was drafting a set of ethical principles for how its AI will be used, and Greene said the plans will be released next week. Its budget also had the possibility of growing to as much as $250 million.

They feared it was the first step towards using artificial intelligence for lethal purposes.

Google's artificial intelligence would bring "an exquisite capability" for "near-real time analysis", the email said.

"We value all of our relationships with academic institutions and commercial companies involved with Project Maven", Harris said.

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