Google hopes to cooperate with the Pentagon again
Google hopes to cooperate with the Pentagon again

Three years after an employee revolution forced Google to abandon the Pentagon's artificial intelligence program, the company is actively seeking a major contract to supply the technology to the military.

The company is planning to sign a potentially lucrative contract called Joint Operations Cloud Capability which could have the right to identify its honest employees and test management to meet employee requirements.

In 2018, thousands of company employees signed a letter protesting the company's participation in the Maven project.

Project Maven is a military program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and improve the targeting of drone attacks.

The company's management made concessions and agreed not to extend the contract once its term had expired. The protest prompted Google to draft guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence, ban the use of its technology for weapons or surveillance, and accelerate changes in its cloud computing business.

As the company sees cloud computing as an important part of its future, the Pentagon's new contract offer could test the limits of AI principles and differentiate it from other tech giants looking for military action and intelligence.

The Army's initiative to modernize the Pentagon's cloud technology and support the use of artificial intelligence to gain an advantage on the battlefield is an alternative to the deal with Microsoft signed this summer over a "protracted lawsuit with Amazon" that was dismissed. After the hype surrounding Project Maven, Google did not compete with Microsoft for this contract.

In September, Google's cloud division made this contract a priority and declared the emergency code yellow, a key internal measure that allowed the company to remove engineers from other duties and focus on military projects.

Google wants to become a military cloud service provider

The company stated in a written statement that it is determined to serve public sector clients, including the Ministry of Defense, and evaluate all future bidding opportunities accordingly.

This contract replaces the legacy Joint Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. The Pentagon's cloud computing contract is worth $10 billion and has a tenure of 10 years.

It's not clear if the bill violates the company's artificial intelligence principles, and the law gives the Department of Defense access to Google's cloud products. Although the Defense Ministry said the technology should help the military in battle. But the Pentagon's rules for external access to sensitive data may prevent Google from understanding the use of its technology.

The Defense Department said it was seeking a proposal from a consortium of limited liability companies that could meet its demands.

After he started selling his cloud computing technology to other companies. Google has worked hard to bridge the gap with Amazon and Microsoft, which own the two largest cloud computing companies.

In order to win more major customers, Google appointed Thomas Kurian in 2018. He is the longtime CEO of the software company Oracle.

Corian promoted to Google's sales force. This prompted the company to actively compete for new contracts, including military ones.

But company employees continue to oppose some of the jobs the cloud division tracks. In 2019, they protested against the use of artificial intelligence tools in the oil and gas industry. A year later, the company announced that it would not create artificial intelligence software specifically for fossil fuel extraction.


The company faced a backlash over its projects with the Pentagon

Google started work on the Maven project in 2017 and is preparing to bid for JEDI. Many of his employees believe Project Maven is a deadly use of artificial intelligence. More than 4,000 workers signed a letter asking the company to withdraw from the project.

Shortly thereafter, the company announced a set of ethical principles for the use of artificial intelligence.

Sundar Pichai, its chief executive, said Google would not allow its AI to be used for weapons or surveillance. But it continues to accept military contracts for cybersecurity and search and rescue.

Some of the company's employees believe the new contract will not violate principles, as it allows public uses of cloud technology and artificial intelligence.

Google's efforts come as its employees push to cancel a cloud computing contract with the Israeli military, called Project Nimbus, which provides its services to government agencies across Israel.

The Pentagon noted that Amazon and Microsoft are the only two companies likely to have the technology to meet its needs. But he said he is doing market research before ruling out other competitors.

Google executives believe they have the ability to compete for the new contract, and the company expects the Department of Defense to tell it whether it is eligible to submit an offer in the coming weeks.

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