Skip to Content
Policy

Google won’t renew its military AI contract

Google plans to discontinue a project through which it has been helping the US military use artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage. The contract, part of a Pentagon effort known as Project Maven, sparked a storm of internal unrest and media controversy over Google’s apparent role in weaponizing the use of AI.

Targets acquired: As first reported by Gizmodo, Google has been supplying technology and know-how to the US military for automating the analysis of drone footage. Defense is a huge potential market, but many Google employees were appalled that the company might be helping develop tech that could lead to automated drone strikes.

The war within: The head of Google’s cloud business, Diane Greene, reportedly told staff this week that the company would not seek a new contract after it expires. Previously leaked e-mails show that some AI experts within Google also objected to the program and anticipated the media fallout.

Booming business: This is far from the end of the story. Artificial intelligence will be a key asset in warfare going forward, and other big tech companies are pursuing military AI contracts. As Wired recently pointed out, Project Maven is poised to expand—with or without Google.

Deep Dive

Policy

What’s next for AI regulation in 2024? 

The coming year is going to see the first sweeping AI laws enter into force, with global efforts to hold tech companies accountable. 

How 2023 marked the death of anonymity online in China

As Chinese social media platforms move toward requiring users to disclose more information about their real identities, will we lose what made us want to be online in the first place?

Meet the economist who wants the field to account for nature

Gretchen Daily is working to make the environment more of an element in economic decision-making.

Three technology trends shaping 2024’s elections

The biggest story of this year will be elections in the US and all around the globe

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.