Leaked Emails Reveal Scope of Google’s A.I. Drone Project
New details on Google’s involvement in a contrversial Pentagon A.I. drone program have come to light after internal emails were recently leaked.
According to a May article from The New York Times, Diane Greene, the chief executive of Google Cloud, alleged during a weekly company meeting that the contract was worth only $9 million after employees began protesting the project.
The leaked emails, however, show Google believed Project Maven, which calls for using artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage, would generate revenue anywhere from $15 million up front to as much as $250 million per year.
“Total deal $25-$30M, $15M to Google over the next 18 months,” Aileen Black, a member of Google’s defense sales team, wrote in September. “As the program grows expect spend is budgeted at 250 M per year.”
Google also voiced concern over the potential public-relations issues that would ensue if the project were to leak to the media.
“This is red meat to the media to find all ways to damage Google. You probably heard Elon Musk and his comment about AI causing WW3,” wrote Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Google Cloud’s head scientist. “I don’t know what would happen if the media starts picking up a theme that Google is secretly building AI weapons or AI technologies to enable weapons for the Defense industry.”
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