Recently you might have reports that several Google employees have resigned in protest, while thousands of other employees have signed an internal petition against Google’s military contracts, namely the use of AI that would have been used in drones. Now Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has come forward to lay out Google’s principles regarding AI.

To be more specific, Pichai claims that Google will not be using its AI technology for use in weapons or surveillance. Sounds good, right? However it seems that there will be a caveat and that is unlike an earlier report which suggests that Google will not be renewing their military contracts, it seems that Google will continue to work with governments and the military, except for non-weaponized work. According to Google, this will include cybersecurity, training, military recruitment, veterans’ healthcare, and search and rescue.

As for surveillance, Google seems to have left themselves with some wiggle room based on their choice of wording. The company claims that they will not use their AI for surveillance that violates “internationally accepted norms”, which means that there could be scenarios where Google could use their AI for surveillance purposes.

According to Pichai, “We believe these principles are the right foundation for our company and the future development of AI. This approach is consistent with the values laid out in our original Founders’ Letter back in 2004. There we made clear our intention to take a long-term perspective, even if it means making short-term tradeoffs. We said it then, and we believe it now.”

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