Google says it will not renew a controversial contract with the Defense Department, bowing to public and internal pressure over its contribution to Pentagon drone strikes.
Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene told employees Friday that Google would honor its commitment to the Pentagon’s Project Maven program through March 2019, but would not seek a new contract at that time, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Project Maven uses artificial intelligence to enhance drone strikes. Google has also worked to develop machine learning algorithms that would help the Pentagon enhance its surveillance efforts generally.
Google’s involvement with the Pentagon has divided staff and 4,000 employees signed a petition demanding “a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.” About a dozen employees resigned in protest.
The news of Google’s plan to end its involvement was first reported by Gizmodo. Google has not commented on the matter