As the world’s biggest militaries embrace artificial intelligence, Google says it will no longer be involved.
The Silicon Valley tech giant announced AI principles Thursday, saying it wouldn’t pursue weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose is to cause harm. It also said it won’t pursue surveillance technologies that violate international norms. And it won’t pursue AI technologies that violate human rights.
Google has endured a recent employee backlash due to its involvement in a US Air Force project that used drones to automatically identify objects with the company’s technology. Critics said the program was a step toward fully autonomous weapons, which hunt targets and decide to kill without human supervision. Google will not renew the contract when it ends.
“How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post. “As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right.”
Google will continue to work with militaries and governments in other areas, such as cybersecurity, training, recruiting and veterans’ health care.