Google will not renew its contract with the Pentagon for work on the Defense Department's drone warfare program, the company announced Friday. While Google will complete its promised work on Project Maven, in which the company has used artificial intelligence and machine learning for drone targeting and surveillance, the contract will not be extended when it ends in March.
About a dozen Google employees resigned in protest of the program, and 4,000 more signed a petition asking the company to eschew all "warfare technology." Gizmodo reports the "company plans to unveil new ethical principles about its use of AI next week."
Meredith Whittaker, founder of Google's Open Research group, cheered the news on Twitter. "I am incredibly happy about this decision, and have a deep respect for the many people who worked and risked to make it happen," she wrote. "Google should not be in the business of war."