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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 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)