Google Project MAVEN: We're Evil and Support Murder with AI

grarpamp grarpamp at
Fri Jun 1 09:55:59 PDT 2018

In March, Google secretly signed an agreement with the Pentagon to
provide cutting edge AI technology for drone warfare, causing about a
dozen Google employees to resign in protest and thousands to sign a
petition calling for an end to the contract. Google has since tried to
quash the dissent, claiming that the contract was "only" for $9
million, according to the New York Times. Internal company emails
obtained by The Intercept tell a different story: The September emails
show that Google's business development arm expected the military
drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15
million to an eventual $250 million per year. In fact, one month after
news of the contract broke, the Pentagon allocated an additional $100
million to Project Maven [the endeavor designed to help drone
operators recognize images captured on the battlefield]. The internal
Google email chain also notes that several big tech players competed
to win the Project Maven contract. Other tech firms such as Amazon
were in the running, one Google executive involved in negotiations
wrote. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.) Rather than
serving solely as a minor experiment for the military, Google
executives on the thread stated that Project Maven was "directly
related" to a major cloud computing contract worth billions of dollars
that other Silicon Valley firms are competing to win. The emails
further note that Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing arm of
Amazon, "has some work loads" related to Project Maven.

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