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Google Bans Development Of Artificial Intelligence Used In Weaponry

09 June, 2018, 21:49 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Missile-AI-Use

Weeks after facing both internal and external blowback for its contract selling AI technology to the Pentagon for drone video analysis, Google on Thursday published a set of principles that explicitly states it will not design or deploy AI for "weapons or other technologies whose principal objective or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people".

Pichai said Google will continue to work with governments and militaries but will not "design or deploy AI" for use in weapons or surveillance. Pichai says Google will be "actively" looking for these collaborations.

The announcement follows employee protests and resignations due to Google's participation with Project Maven, a Pentagon-backed drone AI imaging program.


Aware of the potential controversy, in emails between executives last fall obtained by the New York Times, Google Cloud chief scientist Dr. Fei-Fei Li reportedly urged the company to avoid mention of AI "at all costs" when considering public mention of its involvement with Maven, and called weaponized AI "probably one of the most sensitized topics of AI - if not THE most". Peter Highnam, the deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that did not handle Project Maven but is credited with helping invent the Internet, said there are "hundreds if not thousands of schools and companies that bid aggressively" on DARPA's research programs in technologies such as AI. They should be "built and tested for safety", be built with privacy in mind, and "uphold high standards of scientific excellence". And they should only be made available for purposes that fall in line with the above. "Google is already battling with privacy issues when it comes to AI and data; I don't know what would happen if the media starts picking up a theme that Google is secretly building AI weapons or AI technologies to enable weapons for the Defense industry". The letter began with: "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war".

Google also claimed it would "avoid" making "unfair biases", including political and religious biases through its A.I. algorithms. Several employees said that they did not think the principles went far enough to hold Google accountable-for instance, Google's AI guidelines include a nod to following "principles of worldwide law" but do not explicitly commit to following global human rights law.

"At Google, we use AI to make products more useful-from email that's spam-free and easier to compose, to a digital assistant you can speak to naturally, to photos that pop the fun stuff out for you to enjoy". We will work to limit potentially harmful or abusive applications. "These include cybersecurity, training, military recruitment, veterans' healthcare, and search and rescue".

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