Only months after it was disclosed that the Pentagon was using artificial intelligence (AI) to hunt for terrorists, officials have now acknowledged that Google has been collaborating with the Department of Defense to use AI in analyzing drone footage. The disclosure comes amid an uproar among Google employees who aren't happy to be assisting in the development of military applications.
While Google has had controversial contracts with the government before — most notably with the NSA — this is its "pilot" project with Project Maven, which is itself the Pentagon's own flagship weaponized AI program. The purpose of Project Maven is to implement Big Data and machine learning into the U.S. military, which officials say is currently in a new AI arms race with China and Russia. According to information from an internal mailing list, Google will now join this arms race and assist the DoD with storing and analyzing the massive troves of data from aerial drones.