Google Pledges Not To Use AI For Weapons Or Surveillance


Representative Pete King, a New York Republican, tweeted on Thursday that Google not seeking to extend the drone deal "is a defeat for USA national security".

Google's employees saw something that wasn't right and did speak up.

It will also incorporate the privacy design principles.

One Googler told Gizmodo that the principles amounted to "a hollow PR statement".

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer for Alphabet Inc.'s Google, released a set of principles on Thursday after a revolt by thousands of employees of the internet giant.

It won't work on anything that contravenes "widely accepted principles" of human rights. "The worldwide norms surrounding espionage, cyberoperations, mass information surveillance, and even drone surveillance are all contested and debated in the global sphere". Later, at least 12 Googlers quit the company over the project.

Earlier this week, Google announced that it was withdrawing its support for USA military's Project Maven. But it confirmed that it will not pursue another contract under Project Maven, while it intends to honor the current deal: "I would like to be unequivocal that Google Cloud honors its contracts", Greene wrote.

You can read the full blog post on this link. These are the real guidelines that the company believes it can use for both engineering and business decisions. Pichai's assertions about not using AI for surveillance also left something to be desired, Eckersley added.

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Similarly, the internationally accepted norms aren't specified, with the worldwide community entering a time in which the rewriting many norms. Without accountability to the law, the vague new AI principles from Google really don't mean much.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which had led opposition to Google's Project Maven contract with the Pentagon, called the news "a big win for ethical AI principles".

Peter Asaro, vice chairman of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, said this week that Google's backing off from the project was good news because it slows down a potential AI arms race over autonomous weapons systems.

And Gizmodo also reported that Google sought to help build systems that enabled the Pentagon to surveil entire cities.

No Google AI technology will ever be used as a weapon or for surveillance, the policy states.

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.

A Google official said in a statement to Reuters that the company would not have pursued the drone project had the policies been in place previous year. It's up to consumers (and Google employees) to make sure the company adheres to these promises.