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Google Drops Put of Pentagon Cloud Computing Contract

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai unveiled a set of principles on the company's use of artificial intelligence.

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Pichai's ability to effectively lead the company, down from 92 per cent "positive" the year before, according to Google's latest annual survey on employee satisfaction, the WIRED reported on Saturday.  . VOA

Google is dropping out of the bidding for a huge Pentagon cloud computing contract that could be worth up to $10 billion, saying the deal would be inconsistent with its principles.

The decision by Google, confirmed to AFP in an email Tuesday, leaves a handful of other tech giants including Amazon in the running for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract aimed at modernizing the military’s computing systems.

The move comes following protests by Google employees on the tech giant’s involvement in separate military effort known as Project Maven using artificial intelligence to help interpret video images.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Google decided not to renew its involvement in Maven and this week backed away from the cloud computing contract, citing similar concerns about values.

“While we are working to support the US government with our cloud in many areas, we are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles and second, we determined that there were portions of the contract that were out of scope with our current government certifications,” Google said in a statement.

“We will continue to pursue strategic work to help state, local and federal customers modernize their infrastructure and meet their mission critical requirements.”

Also Read: the European Union Warns Facebook Over Consumer’s Data Usage

In June, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai unveiled a set of principles on the company’s use of artificial intelligence, saying that the company would not participate in “technologies that cause or are likely to cause overall harm” and would stay away from “weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.” (VOA)

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Google Will Start Giving EU Smartphone Users a Choice of Browsers and Search Apps on Android

Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google said Thursday it will start giving European Union smartphone users a choice of browsers and search apps on its Android operating system, in changes designed to comply with an EU antitrust ruling.

Following an Android update, users will be shown two new screens giving them the new options, Google product management director Paul Gennai said in a blog post.

The EU’s executive Commission slapped the Silicon Valley giant with a record 4.34 billion euro (then $5 billion) antitrust fine in July after finding that it abused the dominance of Android by forcing handset and tablet makers to install Google apps, reducing consumer choice.

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Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Pixabay

The commission had ordered Google to come up with a remedy or face further fines. The company, which is appealing the ruling, said the changes are being rolled out over the next few weeks to both new and existing Android phones in Europe.

ALSO READ: Measles Spread in Google’s Headquarters, Employees Discussing Ways To Protect Themselves

Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Apps will be included based on their popularity and shown in random order. Users who choose a search app will also be asked if they want to change the default search engine in the phone’s Chrome browser.

Android is the most widely used mobile operating system, beating even Apple’s iOS. (VOA)