Google will not renew controversial Pentagon contract, cloud leader Diane Greene tells employees

  • Google doesn't plan to renew a controversial contract with the Department of Defense for analyzing drone videos using artificial intelligence.
  • The initiative, dubbed Project Maven, caused thousands of employees to sign a petition in protest and dozens to resign.
Diane Greene, Google
Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Diane Greene, Google

Google Cloud boss Diane Greene told employees on Friday that the company will not seek to renew a controversial contract with the Department of Defense after it expires in March 2019.

Gizmodo originally reported the news.

In March, Google announced that it had partnered with the Pentagon to help it analyze and interpret drone videos via artificial intelligence. However, a firestorm subsequently erupted internally, with several thousand employees signing a petitionurging CEO Sundar Pichai to keep Google out of the "business of war" and dozens resigning in protest.

Greene told employees that the backlash has been bad for the company and that it would not have chosen to pursue the project, dubbed Project Maven, today, sources tell Gizmodo.

Meanwhile, the company is drafting a set of ethical principles to guide its future use of technology like artificial intelligence.

Read the rest of the Gizmodo report here.