Sundar Pichai, the CEO of tech giant Google, held a tranquil meeting at the US Department of Defense (US Department of Defense) seeking to ease tensions with the authorities over the company’s planned withdrawal from the project on providing the Pentagon with artificial intelligence (AI) tools for analyzing drone footage, local media reported.
Pichai held talks with a group of civilian and military leaders from the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, which is in charge of overseeing the drone project, dubbed Project Maven, last week, the Washington Post newspaper reported on Friday, citing two people familiar with the meeting, speaking on the conditions of anonymity.
According to the outlet, a spokesperson for Google has not provided an immediate comment on the issue while a Pentagon spokesperson said the US Department of Defense did not comment on officials’ private meetings.
In June, the Gizmondo science news outlet reported that the high-tech company did not plot to renew its contract on Project Maven after it expires in 2019.
The reported decision followed the walk by over 3,000 Google employees to launch a petition asking Pichai to pull out of the project since Google should not be involved in the business of war. The withdrawal also provoked criticism by US congressmen.
In June, Pichai set unique strict ethical guidelines for the company which ban the exercise of AI technology in weapons.
Over the past years, various scientists, engineers, inventors, and human rights activists possess called for a ban on the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) technology and exercise of AI in weapons.