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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?

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  • (Score: 2) by legont on Saturday March 10 2018, @02:39PM (2 children)

    by legont (4179) on Saturday March 10 2018, @02:39PM (#650513)

    I wonder, when AI is fighting, who are the combatants? Specifically, does this news makes Google employees legitimate military targets?

    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday March 10 2018, @03:34PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 10 2018, @03:34PM (#650532) Journal

    Yes, I'm afraid so. Munitions factories, and most other industrial facilities in Dresden were legitimate targets. Google becomes a legitimate target the moment they promise to supply something to the MIC.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Sunday March 11 2018, @12:04AM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday March 11 2018, @12:04AM (#650691)

    We are all legitimate military targets, Cold War and hot. Women and children have always been victims, from pillaging of villages in the countryside to the bombing of London and German and Japanese cities in WWII, and continuing through napalming of villages in Vietnam. We're lucky if we manage to keep friendly fire kills of our own troops to a minimum, do you really think we have the capacity to avoid collateral damage?

    That all being said, the Google work (and similar) should help to focus the fire and reduce collateral casualties. Bash on Obama all you want for ramping up the drone war, at least the drones aren't in-country killing anything that moves out of fear for their personal safety.

    🌻🌻 []