Recently it was discovered that Google had taken on a military contract in which they would be helping develop AI for use in drones, where it would be used to speed up the analysis of drone footage by classifying images of objects and people. This was very controversial and more than a handful of Google employees resigned in protest, while thousands signed a petition against it.
The good news for the public who might be concerned about Google’s role and also for Google employees who were against it, it seems that the company might no longer renew their contract with the military once it ends. This is according to a report from Gizmodo whose sources told them that Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene announced the decision during a meeting with employees earlier today.
The contract is set to expire in 2019 and following its expiration, Google is expected to no longer pursue it. Greene was apparently quoted as saying that this decision was helped by the immense backlash the company faced because of it, and that the project was taken on at a time when Google was aggressively pursuing military contracts (it is unclear if they still are).
It was also revealed that Google is set to unveil new ethical principles about its use of AI next week. While Google appears to be making some great strides in the development of AI, the company has come under fire over recent demonstrations, such as with its Duplex AI which could have the potential to fool people into thinking they’re talking with an actual human.