A decision by google to provide machine learning tools that analyzes drone footage in partnership with the US Military cause resignation by Google's employees. The CEO of Google promised to ban the development of AI software for weaponry purpose.
The continuing debate over the application and limitations, potential benefits and harm with the development in AI is like a quarrelsome. On the one hand AI is being used to solve many problems in medical setting, in service industry and other industry and there is darker side of advancement of AI on contrary part. The announce by Sundar Pichai to ban the development of AI software for nefarious purpose that includes developing weaponry, surely will stimulate the debate over the limitations of AI in terms of ethical practices.
The Google's CEO also said that he will avoid such AI project in future that may violate human right or international standards. For this, google came with principal guidelines that will govern Google ethical practices towards the use and development of AI-system and technology. These new set of guidelines will set tone for the development and deployment of AI far beyond Google.
The ethical principle is the result of employee's resignation and public criticism over a Google's contract with Department of defense. Also, Google's executive said that they won't renew the contract with defense department for the military's AI endeavor (known as Project Maven) when expire next year. However, the company will continue to work with military for the contracts related to office and cloud related services such as cyber security, training, veterans' health care, search and rescue and military recruitment.
The new principles will set limits that appear to have slow down the Pentagon's technological researchers and engineers. They say that other contractors probably will compete to develop technologies to provide services to military or national defense.
The company has entered in fierce competition for researchers, engineers and technologies with companies like Facebook and Amazon and Chinese AI firms to compete for lucrative contracts that Google says it will give up. The company said, it is also stopping working with an AI-based Mayan project that analyses pictures that can make drone attacks more precise.
This step is a setback for Pentagon's push to build the capabilities of military force with the hep of AI software that helps in processing of data related to battlefield and pinpoints military targets. Earlier, AI software was deployed to analyses footage from predator drones, pinpointing building and processing video and now the decision not to renew the contract is based on assumption that use of AI to support Pentagon is bad thing.