The Web giant wants to limit its technologies to positive uses for society. He also draws a line on the controversial Maven project, on smart drones of the US military. But he will continue to work with the military in other areas.
The revolt of Google employees finally forced the management of the group out of the woods. For months, some of the "Googlers" has a dim view of the participation of the Web giant in Maven, a US military research project that aims to equip surveillance drones with artificial intelligence. In particular, it involves developing the capabilities of image analysis and object detection.
Knowing that surveillance drones are the cornerstone of the US government's targeted assassination program, we understand better why this collaboration provoked an outcry at Mountain View. A petition has even been signed by more than 4,000 employees.

Google leaders have now dropped the ballast through two notes of concomitant blogs. In the first, Sundar Pichai, the CEO, sets out seven ethical rules that the group now wants to submit as part of artificial intelligence. In the second, Diane Greene, director of cloud activity, announces that collaboration within the Maven project will not be renewed. It will therefore end next year.
Google will not participate in weapons programs
Google's seven commandments aim to restrict artificial intelligence to socially beneficial uses and to "cultural, social and legal norms in the countries where we operate".
In particular, society wants its algorithms not to reinforce social inequalities and not to be used for weapons. However, Google will continue to work with the US military, including in the areas of "cybersecurity, training, recruitment, health veterans or relief."
In the field of surveillance, however, Google is behind. Admittedly, the company refrains from using artificial intelligence for technologies "that collect or use information to perform surveillance that does not meet internationally accepted standards." But this formulation remains very vague. It does not seem to exclude collaboration with government surveillance programs, such as those created by Western agencies (NSA, GCHQ ...). This is a ridge line that will be hard to keep.

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