There was much internal and public outcry against a controversial contract that Google had struck with the U.S Military. Following the same backlash, the agreement will not be renewed for another year.
The project was initially named Project Maven. Its primary focus was on collaborating with the military to effectively improvise the work of image analysis of sensitive footage like drones flying over conflict areas.
A small section of the employees is calling out the company for being a part of warfare. Google is famous for its stand on standing against the evil worldwide. The scenario somehow seemed ironic to some. Thousands of employees thus joined the protest and Google also lost out on a lot of workforces owing to resignations.
When Google quoted that it was just a “minor” project, one question that popped up in many heads was “so why not just stop?”. The subsequent steps, however, revealed that it was not minor and not just another innocent administrative project. Maven, in fact, was initially designed as a wedge. It was well planned to give the company access to some other government contracts.
When we have a look at the contract, we can notice that it also included getting the company’s security fast-tracked. This would be very beneficial for Google. This would provide it access to that vital information which would tremendously improve its military-related offerings. Similarly, the promises that were made to the Pentagon employees in return were not just innocent AI projects. They had a much broader connotation.
The CEO of Google Cloud has now recognised that the company was indeed facing a severe backlash. There was an urgent need to address the same. Thus, the company is compelled to redesign its outlook in the military aspect. This is a recent development because discussions on this project have been active right until the end of 2017.
This project has the interests of Google involved to a substantial extent. Whether Google will proceed to address the backlash effectively and honestly and thus bring forth the necessary changes to redesign its outlook in the arena remains to be seen. Some managers will be undoubtedly disappointed for letting go of the relaxed security clearance that was being provided to the company.