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posted by janrinok on Saturday March 10 2018, @08:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the im-sorry-dave-im-afraid-i-cant-do-that dept.

Google is selling the Pentagon some Machine Learning / AI training solution so their drones and sensors can pick out the good stuff from all the crap stuff being recorded by their massive surveillance apparatus on a daily basis. Most companies would probably be super pleased by selling something to a customer. Not the Google-employees. Apparently their solutions should only be used for "good", or not being evil or something and Pentagon is clearly "evil" in their eyes.

Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analyzing drone footage, a move that set off a firestorm among employees of the technology giant when they learned of Google's involvement.

Google's pilot project with the Defense Department's Project Maven, an effort to identify objects in drone footage, has not been previously reported, but it was discussed widely within the company last week when information about the project was shared on an internal mailing list, according to sources who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the project.

Google's Eric Schmidt summed up the tech industry's concerns about collaborating with the Pentagon at a talk last fall. "There's a general concern in the tech community of somehow the military-industrial complex using their stuff to kill people incorrectly," he said. While Google says its involvement in Project Maven is not related to combat uses, the issue has still sparked concern among employees, sources said

Project Maven, a fast-moving Pentagon project also known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT), was established in April 2017. Maven's stated mission is to "accelerate DoD's integration of big data and machine learning." In total, the Defense Department spent $7.4 billion on artificial intelligence-related areas in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Are the employees at Google starting to become a problem for Google and their eventual bottom line with their political agendas? Are they getting in the way of doing actual work? When or if is there such a line?

https://gizmodo.com/google-is-helping-the-pentagon-build-ai-for-drones-1823464533


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by bradley13 on Saturday March 10 2018, @09:01AM (14 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 10 2018, @09:01AM (#650463) Homepage Journal

    Dear AC: You do realize that the US spends more money on its military than the next eight contenders together. Meanwhile, the countries in places 2 and 3 (China and Russia) could certainly compete with the the US in a military conflict. I don't know how it would come out - and don't really want find out.

    The thing is: the main goal of the US military is no longer fighting. It's politics and pork. On the political side, we have the top-heavy rank structure. Women in strength-critical roles like infantry and marines. Naval bases as child-care centers [dailycaller.com], because pregnancy is an easy way out of those long deployments. Seriously, there's no better employer, if you want to be a single mother.

    On the pork side, let's just hold up the F-35 as a typical example, but there are dozens of other programs just as far over cost and behind schedule, delivering crappy products for eye-watering prices.

    So, sure, the US military is still huge, and just by being huge, it is dangerous. But overall, on a qualitative level? On any sort of per-dollar measure? I'll stick by my assessment of "useless". Just look at your success in the Middle East: The US managed to thoroughly mess up four pretty pathetic countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Actual results to show for it all? Objectives achieved vs. costs? If it weren't so damned tragic, it would be hilarious.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @09:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @09:36AM (#650473)

    I'll stick by my assessment of "useless">

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. [dictionary.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:34AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:34AM (#650493)

    All sorts of crap winds up in our "military" budget, like healthcare and even childcare.

    We buy American. We could save money by building our equipment in China, but... NO.

    For these reasons, military spending is a horrible indicator of capability.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday March 10 2018, @03:21PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 10 2018, @03:21PM (#650527) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, THAT makes sense. Let's allow China to not only supply our steel, and other strategic needs - but to BUILD OUR EQUIPMENT FOR US!! "We plomise, Joe, no backdools in our miritary 'quipment!" I can hear it now:

      "Mr. President of China, Sir, we respectfully request that you build us some of your fine Generation Six fighter-bombers. We would like about 275 in this order, and options to order another 300 in the future."

      The reply? "You Yankee mother fucker, you think we sell planes to you so you can attack us, and our friends? How stupid are you? How stupid do you think WE ARE? No planes for you, Yankee mother fucker!"

      --
      "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:39AM (#650496)

    I think you are being too harsh. Thorougly messing up was the exact plan and US military achieved that in spectacular manner. You haven't bought the 'spreading democracy' propaganda, right? Right?

    The military went there to show its might. Wars are messy, and the military created a big mess while taking care of pregnant women and handing out iPads. That scares the rest of the world. Mission accomplished.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by cocaine overdose on Saturday March 10 2018, @12:45PM (1 child)

    Dear brodley13, you do realize that my wife spends more money on her clothes than the next eight of my MeetYungHotties penpals combined, together. Meanwhile, I could've gotten a mail-order Russian or China Plate wife, who could certainly compete with all of this "not now, I've got plans" bullshit everyday. I don't know how I'd come out -- but I think I might be gay after being dry all these years.

    The thing is: the main goal of my wife is no longer being wifely. It's sucking me dry -- of my money -- without sucking me dry. On the money side, I've got a top-heavy bank account being eyed up by contenders. Women in service jobs like baristas and waitresses. My house is now a youth inpatient asylum, because throwing plates is an easy way to get out of those long credit card bills. Seriously, there's no better way, if you want to assert your dominance and keep on wasting money.

    On the not sucking me dry side, let's just hold up the unenthusiastic handies as a typical example, but there are dozens of other acts just as far over not-painful and drawn out, delivering sexual experiences where my eyes are watering.

    So, sure, my wife is still huge, and just by being huge, it is dangerous. But overall, on a qualitative level? On any sort of per-dress measure? I'll stick by my assessment of "useless." Just look at my success at home: My wife managed to thoroughly mess up four pretty pathetic tasks: washing dishes, not using my screwdrivers as ice-picks, keeping bills in the black, and being a trooper when the "headaches" kick in. Actual results to show for it all? Objectives achieved vs. my money spent? If it weren't so damn hilarious, it would be tragic.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Saturday March 10 2018, @01:50PM

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 10 2018, @01:50PM (#650508) Journal

      VERY nicely played!

      *Golf clap*

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday March 10 2018, @06:54PM (6 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 10 2018, @06:54PM (#650599) Journal

    Meanwhile, the countries in places 2 and 3 (China and Russia) could certainly compete with the the US in a military conflict.

    Yeah, you know, as could, for example, Vietnam.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @09:21PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @09:21PM (#650645)

      Yeah, you know, as could, for example, Vietnam.

      Original AC here (the one who called Bradley13 out for talking out of his ass).

      Please note that as far as executing actual *military* action, the US military has completely outgunned and outclassed any opponent and achieved every single military objective over the past forty years.

      In every single case. when the US has applied military force to take and hold territory, destroy the capabilities/resources of adversaries, seek out and capture/kill specific adversaries, with the single exception of the failed attempt to rescue the hostages in the Tehran embassy [wikipedia.org], the US military has (not without casualties, but we are talking about armed conflict) achieved its tactical goals *every single time*.

      I'm not talking about peacekeeping missions or "democracy building" efforts. Which are political, not military activities. I'm talking about operations which applied military force to achieve a specific military objective.

      That political decisions (e.g., de-ba'athification in Iraq, installation of a corrupt government in Afghanistan, etc., etc., etc.) along with turning over operations to poorly trained and uncommitted local resources turned things around in various places, that doesn't invalidate the *combat effectiveness* of the US Military.

      So. Saying that the US Military is useless ignores the fact that it performs its primary function extremely effectively.

      As far as political and strategic planning/decision making goes, the US has done a piss poor job, and way too many people have died or been maimed unnecessarily. That pisses me off a great deal.

      However, to say that the US military is "useless" is sheer idiocy. And anyone who says so is talking out of their asses. Full stop.

      • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday March 10 2018, @10:23PM (3 children)

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 10 2018, @10:23PM (#650660) Journal

        Saying that the US Military is useless ignores the fact that it performs its primary function extremely effectively...to say that the US military is "useless" is sheer idiocy. And anyone who says so is talking out of their asses. Full stop.

        As a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran, I can certify for you that this is absolutely correct.

        As far as political and strategic planning/decision making goes, the US has done a piss poor job, and way too many people have died or been maimed unnecessarily. That pisses me off a great deal.

        Recognizing this, then you should dispense with the silly categorization of wars into "peacekeeping wars" (no such thing), "military objective only wars" (no such thing), etc.

        The military might and ability of any country or group is a function of its capabilities tempered by its political and strategic leadership. This means that countries about the size of New Mexico can defeat us in war. Can send us running, firing automatic rifles at our fleeing backs and laughing.

        Sure, you don't like it. I don't like it either. Black Sabbath didn't like it and wrote the song "War Pigs." Go figure. Still happened.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @10:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @10:34PM (#650663)

          Saying that the US Military is useless ignores the fact that it performs its primary function extremely effectively...to say that the US military is "useless" is sheer idiocy. And anyone who says so is talking out of their asses. Full stop.

          As a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran, I can certify for you that this is absolutely correct.

          Same AC here again. That was the entirety of my point. Thank you.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @10:58PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @10:58PM (#650666)

          As far as political and strategic planning/decision making goes, the US has done a piss poor job, and way too many people have died or been maimed unnecessarily. That pisses me off a great deal.

          Recognizing this, then you should dispense with the silly categorization of wars into "peacekeeping wars" (no such thing), "military objective only wars" (no such thing), etc.

          It's me again. Just to clarify, I wasn't "categorizing" wars in that fashion. Rather, I was differentiating focused *military* objectives (regardless of context or theater) with *political* objectives.

          How does the old saw go? "The President proposes and the military disposes." When specific *military* objectives (e.g., "take and hold this territory", "secure this perimeter", "damage/destroy specific military resources/capabilities", etc.) not poilitical ones (e.g., "win the war", "win hearts and minds", "set up a functioning government", etc.) are presented, the US military is among the most (if not the most) capable of any military force on the planet.

          That doesn't mean that the US can or will prevail in any and all conflicts/contexts. Case in point, the invasion of Iraq (as misguided as it was) was a ringing military success. Iraqi military forces were handily defeated, its leaders were either arrested or fled, and major governmental, defense and transportation centers were seized and secured.

          What happened afterwards was not so successful. The steps taken by senior US civilian officials [wikipedia.org] *created* a well trained, angry resistance movement among a large minority of the population. Even so, when tasked with strictly military objectives (e.g., pacify Fallujah [wikipedia.org]) the US military acquitted itself quite well, despite the political failures of senior *civilian* US government officials.

          That's not to say that I supported such military/political action. I did not. But claiming that political failures and unrestrained/corrupt spending practices makes the US military "useless" is stupid in the extreme.

          • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:20PM

            by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:20PM (#650674) Journal

            But claiming that political failures and unrestrained/corrupt spending practices makes the US military "useless" is stupid in the extreme.

            No, of course not. Those failures and practices merely reduce its effectiveness, and even then, only in certain areas.

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:21PM

        by jmorris (4844) on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:21PM (#650675)

        However, to say that the US military is "useless" is sheer idiocy.

        See reality as a cold civil war between the Blue Empire of Foggy Bottom, the Embassies and NGOs and the Red Team of the Pentagon and Bases. The history of the post WWII era is best explained as a civil war in the U.S. between those factions fought as hot proxy wars in the third world. The Red Team has seen every victory on the battlefield turn to ash at the negotiating table as Blue hammers home the lesson of who actually runs things. Since the Red team rejects the idea of actually fighting their enemy, since that would require a coup and a ruling junta, they are worse than useless. They play the game, smashing shit around the world and leaving their battlegrounds more dangerous than they found them and the front line troops burned out and demoralized as they come to realize what is happening. The generals order their men to go in knowing in advance they are going to eventually get the order to throw the fight. Now they are allowing Progs to remove the honor and traditions from their service academies, which is going to leave the war machine in the hands of mutants and criminals beholden to the Blue Team. Mutants who will have no moral scruple about turning that war machine against American civilians.

        How about that for some advanced Black Pill action? Read Moldbug at your peril.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @07:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @07:09PM (#650603)

    You missed Yemen