Google pledges not to use artificial intelligence for weapons or surveillance

Jun 09, 2018, 21:48
Google pledges not to use artificial intelligence for weapons or surveillance

In addition to a ban on autonomous weaponry at Google, the company will also seek to avoid the creation of AI whose principle goal is to injure or harm human beings as well as "Technologies that gather or use information for surveillance violating internationally accepted norms".

This commitment follows protests from staff over the U.S. military's research into using Google's vision recognition systems to help guide drones. The guidelines emerge just days after Google announced it would not renew its contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to analyze drone footage.

Some Google employees and outside critics cautiously welcomed the principles, although they voiced reservations, particularly about language that gives the company ample wiggle room in future decisions. This work led over 3,000 Google employees to sign a letter asking the company to end the project.

The document, which also enshrines "relevant explanations" of how AI systems work, lays the groundwork for the rollout of Duplex, a human-sounding digital concierge that was shown off booking appointments with human receptionists at a Google developers conference in May. 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.

Diane Greene, the head of Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post on Thursday that Google will continue to honor the controversial Project Maven contract that it entered into past year. "Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology". And we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate when to make our technologies available on a non-commercial basis.

The Pentagon established Project Maven in collaboration with Google in 2017, while Schmidt was working for both the Pentagon and leading Google's board. Google likely planned to bid on JEDI, a cloud computing contract with the Defense Department that could be worth as much as $10 billion.

Google said Thursday that it would not let its artificial intelligence (A.I.) tools be used for deadly weapons or surveillance.

Google will incorporate its privacy principles in the development and use of its AI technologies, providing appropriate transparency and control over the use of data, Pichai enphasised.

However, Google went on to confirm that they will continue to work with government bodies and military.

The United States military is increasing spending on a secret research effort to use artificial intelligence to help anticipate the launch of a nuclear-capable missile, as well as track and target mobile launchers in North Korea and elsewhere.

Over 4,000 Google employees ended up protesting Google's involvement with the Pentagon, saying in an open letter that Google should not be in the "business of war".

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