Google Promises Its A.I. Will Not Be Used for Weapons

Artificial intelligence debate flares at Google

"We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use".

A recent report claimed that Google won't be renewing its Project Maven contract next year due to the outcry, though leaked emails reportedly revealed that Google's higher ups were eager for such contracts.

In the post, Pichai spells out the principles that should be considered when creating AI as well as applications of AI that Google will not pursue.

Google's principles say it will not pursue AI applications meant to cause physical injury, that tie into surveillance "violating internationally accepted norms of human rights", or that present greater "material risk of harm" than countervailing benefits. "As a leader in AI, we feel a special responsibility to get this right".

Google has released its much-anticipated guidelines for its work with artificial intelligence, the succinct document states Google won't work to develop AI weapons but will continue its work with the military.

The new principles follow months of debate inside Google over AI technology it had developed for the US military for analyzing drone footage as part of what was known as Project Maven. Google is widely seen as a potential contender for a massive contract to move Defense Department systems to cloud servers. Google's Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai specified seven objectives for the use of artificial intelligence in a blog post on Thursday.

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DeepMind, a top A.I. lab owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet, is considering whether it should refrain from publishing certain research because it may be unsafe.

While most of Google's A.I. guidelines are unsurprising for a company that prides itself on altruistic goals, it also included a noteworthy rule about how its technology could be shared outside the company.

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

Other companies leading the race developing AI are also grappling with ethical issues - including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft, which have formed a group with Google called the Partnership on AI.

Pichai's insistence that Google will continue to work with the military may be a signal that Google still plans to vye for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), a 10-year, $10 billion cloud contract with the US military that drew the attention of major tech companies like Amazon and Google. "Any organization is free to participate in this ongoing exploration or not".