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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @08:59PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10 2018, @08:59PM (#650638)

    The party will soon be over there. The MBA suits and analysts will come in and 'straighten it out' (for a small fee of course). That means perks gone. Talking up? Fired or as they like to call it 'cutbacks and refocus'. Google will soon have its 'first round of layoffs ever'. I have seen this pattern too many times. They will start with the trouble makers. Those are the ones that demand perks, btw. Then the perks will go. Then they will find they actually removed the people who mixed it up enough to motivate everyone. Oh yeah motivation is down so work has slowed. So more cutbacks. Equilibrium will set in. The old guard will talk about how it was awesome 'back in the day'. Innovation will be out the window. Slow and steady wins the race will become the mantra. I give it about a year maybe two before that starts to happen. The stock price will be fine though for many years. They are one or two lawsuits away from 'the suits' coming in. Once that happens run.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by jmorris on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:44PM

    by jmorris (4844) on Saturday March 10 2018, @11:44PM (#650683)

    To see what their future of Google looks like, look at Yahoo! today. A vast entity that does many things, all so poorly and fecklessly that younger people ask "why do they exist?" and old timers wistfully explain that twas not always thus with Yahoo!, that once they bestrode the world like a Young God of the Internet Age. That the sad remnant that remains is still too big to fail so it shambles on. Then we end with "now get off my lawn."