Google Cloud’s new AI head comes with his own ties to the Pentagon’s Project Maven

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Credit: Nicole Gray 61 shares Google Cloud ’s soon-to-be head of AI will have his work cut out for him if he wants to convince disgruntled employees he won’t follow in his predecessors footsteps and develop AI for the military. He’s the co-chair of a defense and security think-tank alongside one of the people responsible for the creation of Project Maven .
Google Cloud announced earlier this week that Carnegie Mellon’s Andrew Moore will replace AI head Fei-Fei Li by the end of the year. Moore is returning to Google, having previously been a director with the company from 2007 through 2014.
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CLICK IT In May he was appointed co-chair of the Center for a New American Security’s artificial intelligence task force, a group dedicated to determining how the US government should respond to the threat of AI.
At the time of his appointment Moore said :
Central to all of this is ensuring that such systems work with humans in a way which empowers the human, not replaces the human, and which keeps ultimate decision authority with the human. That is why I am so excited by the mission of the task force.
Proponents of Google’s work on Project Maven were quick to point out the company wasn’t developing weapons systems. According to reports , the company was teaching military developers how to use TensorFlow (an open-source machine learning platform) to analyze drone footage.
Despite such assurances, hundreds of employees protested and at least a dozen quit over the company’s involvement. Google eventually announced it wouldn’t seek to renew its contract to work on Project Maven.
Whether Moore’s commitment to keeping “ultimate decision authority” in humans will be enough to assuage employee concerns over the company’s partnerships with the Pentagon remains to be seen.
In other Google AI news, a handful of employees, including Senior Google Scientist James Poulson, have shown themselves the door , reports...