Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai has reportedly met Pentagon officials after few Google employees opposed the search engine giant’s agreeing to take the defense project according to few media reports.
Why so secret?
According to a report from the Washington Post, the hush-hush meeting was organized between few civilian and military leaders from the department of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. The defense project at the center stage is dubbed as Project Maven according to the unknown sources. Pichai took the initiative to meet GOP lawmakers to discuss various issues after recently being accused by President Donald Trump of being biased towards politically conservative thoughts.
The search engine giant witnessed its employees divided over Project Maven this year. The Project is concerned with the deployment of artificial intelligence for assisting the US Department of Defense in analyzing the Drone video footage. Opposing the decision of Google to work on the project, more than 4,000 Google employees signed a petition asking the managers to stop working on such projects and take resolution never to take such projects in future as well.
No lethal projects going forward
Responding to the requests of the employees, Pichai announced the set of principles acting as a guideline for Google’s work with AI. Pichai has however made his stance clear on collaborating with the military on non-lethal projects stating that, “We want to be clear that while we are not developing AI for use in weapons.” He added that Google would continue to work with governments and the military in various other areas.
Pichai is facing one of the most crucial challenges of retaining the employees and agreeing them to work on the non-lethal, defense projects.
The search engine giant has also made it clear that they would not extend the DOD subcontracting deal after it expires in March. Google Cloud Platform hired Andrew Moore for the role of chief of Google Cloud AI.