Google pledges not to use AI for weapons or surveillance

Google pledges not to use AI for weapons or surveillance

Today Google unveiled a new set of principles guiding its approach to artificial intelligence, including a pledge not to build AI weapons, "technologies that gather or use information for surveillance violating internationally accepted norms" or ones "whose goal contravenes widely accepted principles of worldwide law and human rights". In March, news leaked that Google had quietly supplied AI technology to the Pentagon to help analyze drone video footage. After several employees quit and thousands of others signed a petition against the program, Google has said it will end its participation when its current contract expires next year.

The internal and external protests put Google in a hard position as it aims to recenter its business around the development and use of artificial intelligence. In it, Google says that its principles "are not theoretical concepts", but rather "concrete standards" that'll "actively govern" its future AI work.

Be made available for uses that accord with these principles.

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

Google is banning the development of artificial-intelligence software that can be used in weapons, chief executive Sundar Pichai said Thursday, setting strict new ethical guidelines for how the tech giant should conduct business in an age of increasingly powerful AI.

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".

The company recommended that developers avoid launching AI programs likely to cause significant damage if attacked by hackers because existing security mechanisms are unreliable.


Google also claimed it would "avoid" making "unfair biases", including political and religious biases through its A.I. algorithms.

In publishing a memo like this, Google isn't taking some bold stance or even actually committing to uphold any particular belief, but just trying pull itself out from under its most recent scandal.

Google's Project Maven with the US Defence Department came under fire from company employees concerned about the direction it was taking the company. "This is the reality faced by any developers of what are usually called dual-use technologies".

Technologies whose objective contravenes widely accepted principles of worldwide law and human rights.

The restriction could help Google management defuse months of protest by thousands of employees against the company's work with the U.S. military to identify objects in drone video.

CNBC also noted that Pichai's vow to "work to limit potentially harmful or abusive applications" is less explicit than previous Google guidelines on AI.

The company's collaboration with governments will be in the fields of cybersecurity, training, military recruitment, veterans' healthcare, and search and rescue.

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