Apple isn’t exactly known for having military contracts. The closest they have ever gotten was when they teamed up with the Pentagon to develop high-tech wearables for the military. However, the company did find themselves with a military contract when they acquired AI startup, Xnor.ai.
But it looks like Apple really doesn’t want anything to do with the military because according to a report from The Information (paywall), it seems that Apple has decided to pull out of it. If they had stayed in it, they would have been part of the Pentagon’s AI project known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team.
This basically uses AI to help identify objects and people recorded in videos by drones. Currently, object and human identification from such videos still need to be analyzed by humans, but by using AI, it could help speed things up in the identification process, which in turn could help facilitate autonomous warfare.
It is unclear why Apple might have pulled out (the company has yet to make any kind of official confirmation or acknowledgement), but if you recall, Google faced a great deal of scrutiny from the public and its employees when they entered into a military contract with the US Department of Defense, ultimately resulting in them opting not to renew it. It is possible that Apple could be looking to avoid similar controversy and backlash as well.