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Google: We Won’t Develop Deadly AI Weapons, But Will Help The Military

Google won't deploy AI to build military weapons: Pichai

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

After facing backlash over its involvement in an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered Pentagon project “Maven”, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has enphasised that the company will not work on technologies that cause or are likely to cause overall harm.

About 4,000 Google employees had signed a petition demanding “a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology”.

Following the anger, Google decided not to renew the “Maven” AI project with the US Defence Department after it expires in 2019.

“We will not design or deploy AI in weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people,” Pichai said in a blog post late Thursday.

“We will not pursue AI in “technologies that gather or use information for surveillance violating internationally accepted norms,” the Indian-born CEO added.

“We want to be clear that while we are not developing AI for use in weapons, we will continue our work with governments and the military in many other areas like cybersecurity, training, military recruitment, veterans’ healthcare, and search and rescue,” Pichai noted.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

Google will incorporate its privacy principles in the development and use of its AI technologies, providing appropriate transparency and control over the use of data, Pichai enphasised.

In a blog post describing seven “AI principles”, he said these are not theoretical concepts but “concrete standards that will actively govern our research and product development and will impact our business decisions”.

“How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come. As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right,” Pichai posted.

Google will strive to make high-quality and accurate information readily available using AI, while continuing to respect cultural, social, and legal norms in the countries where it operates.

Also Read: Diversity Issues Take Centre Stage at Google Shareholders’ Meet

“We will seek to avoid unjust impacts on people, particularly those related to sensitive characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, income, sexual orientation, ability, and political or religious belief,” Pichai noted.

Pichai said Google will design AI systems to be appropriately cautious, and seek to develop them in accordance with best practices in AI safety research.

“We will design AI systems that provide appropriate opportunities for feedback, relevant explanations, and appeal. Our AI technologies will be subject to appropriate human direction and control,” he added. (IANS)

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Google Announces to Pay $1 Million for Finding Bugs in Pixel Phones

Software giant Microsoft has also announced its Azure Security Lab, intended to give experts a sandbox-like safe environment to test its Cloud security services better. The company also doubled the top Azure bug bounty reward for researchers to $40,000

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

Google has announced to pay $1 million as top award to security researchers who can find a unique bug in its Pixel series of smartphones that may compromise users’ data.

There is an additional 50 per cent bonus if a security researcher is able to find an exploit on “specific developer preview versions of Android”, resulting in a prize of $1.5 million.

The Google Bug Bounty programme will reward the top prize to someone who can break into Google’s Titan M “secure element.”

Similar to Apple’s “iPhone Secure Elementa, “Titan M” is a security chip that automatically scans hackers trying to load malware when an Android phone is turned on.

For the new reward category, Google is looking for “full chain remote code execution exploit with persistence which compromises the Titan M secure element on Pixel devices.”

“We will reward extra for a full exploit chain (typically multiple vulnerabilities chained together) that demonstrates arbitrary code execution, data exfiltration, or a lockscreen bypass,” said Google.

When Google first introduced its bug bounty programme for Android, the biggest bug bounty reward was $38,000.

Google, Pixel, Smartphone, Camera
Google Pixel XL smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Security researchers this week identified that camera in Google Pixel smartphones can easily spy on you.

According to Erez Yalon and Pedro Umbelino, security researchers at cyber security firm Checkmarx, they found that vulnerabilities impact the camera apps of smartphone vendors like Google Pixel and some Samsung devices in the Android ecosystem, presenting significant implications to hundreds-of-millions of smartphone users.

After a detailed analysis of the Google Camera app, the team found that by manipulating specific actions and intents, an attacker can control the app to take photos and/or record videos through a rogue application that has no permissions to do so.

Google has now matched Apple in rewarding bug hunters.

Apple is planning to supply special iPhones to security researchers to help them tackle malicious hackers before they trespass or damage systems and to discover flaws and vulnerabilities better.

Also Read: Facebook Willing to Make Some Changes in its Political Ad Policies

Researchers with a security research track record of high-quality systems on any platform are eligible to apply and they could end up earning a maximum payout of $1 million.

Apple launched its bug bounty programme three years ago at the Black Hat conference and is now extending its use to cover macOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and more.

Software giant Microsoft has also announced its Azure Security Lab, intended to give experts a sandbox-like safe environment to test its Cloud security services better. The company also doubled the top Azure bug bounty reward for researchers to $40,000. (IANS)