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Google steps back from Robot Wars…

5 June 2018

One of Google’s top executives, Diane Greene, reportedly told employees on Friday that the company will not be renewing its controversial AI contract with the Pentagon, known as Project Maven.

The aim of the project is to improve the precision of military drone surveillance. Google has made some of its image recognition technologies available, under a contract that is set to expire in March 2019.

The decision not to renew is likely to have been influenced by the resignations of a number of senior engineers, as well as an open letter released in April 2018 and signed by approximately 4,000 Google employees, condemning Google’s involvement in the project.

Despite this, it is thought that Google will bid for the Pentagon’s cloud computing business when it goes to tender later this year. It appears that the potential value of government defence contracts is simply too high to ignore.

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