Google Pursuing Contract to Work With Pentagon Again Despite Employee Concerns

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  • 03/02/2023

Three years after employee backlash forced Google to abandon work on a Pentagon program involving artificial intelligence, the Big Tech giant is pursuing another contract to provide its technology to the military. 

The company’s plan to secure the contract, known as the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, could raise concerns among its employees and test the strength of management to resist employee demands. 

As reported by the New York Times, in 2018, thousands of Google employees signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in Project Maven, a program that used artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to refine the targeting of drone strikes. 

Because of the backlash, Google management agreed not to renew the contract once it expired.

Now, as Google positions cloud computing as a key component of its future, the fight for the new Pentagon contract could test the boundaries of newly implemented artificial intelligence guidelines. 

According to sources familiar with the matter, on Tuesday, the Google cloud unit’s chief executive Thomas Kurian met with the chief of staff of the Air Force Charles Q. Brown to present the case. 

Google said it is “firmly committed to serving our public sector customers” and that it “will evaluate any future bid opportunities accordingly.” 

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