In a virtual testimony before Congress on Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was reprimanded by Matt Mattz, R-Fla., Following allegations that he was boosting China’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities after refusing to work with the US military. Was grilled by.
After thousands of employees signed a petition addressed to Pichai, Google pulled out of the AI contract with the Department of Defense (DOD), demanding that the company terminate all partnerships with the program known as Project Maven Give.
Project Maven was an AI effort to study imagination that could lead to improved technology surrounding drone strikes during open combat. Google cited concerns over the ethical principles surrounding AI.
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“Project Maven was a collaboration between Google and DOD that Google pulled out,” Gaetz said on Wednesday.
“Did you weigh input from your staff when deciding to leave the project with the US Army?” Getz asked Pichai.
“We are deeply committed to supporting the military and the US government, we have undertaken many projects since. We take into account the input of our employees, but it is an input, we decide on various factors. “
But Getz emphasized Google’s ethical choices, questioned his work with China and pointed out that Google has an AI center, collaborates with Chinese universities, and allows China to further expand the targeted capabilities of its J-20 fighters Helping to increase. Papers published by Chinese Academy of Sciences.
“So why would an American company with American values directly assist the Chinese military, but have ethical concerns about working with the US military on Project Maven?” Getz asked Pichai on Wednesday.
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“And I understand your point about cybersecurity and those things, but Project Maven was a specific way to ensure that our soldiers are safe on the battlefield, and if you don’t have any problems then the J-20 Chinese Making Fighter more effective on its target, why wouldn’t you want to make America more effective? ”Added Getz.
“We are not working with the Chinese military, this is absolutely wrong,” Pichai said.
Getz also addressed comments by security officials and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who called Google’s work with China “traitorous”.
“Former Secretary of Defense Mr. Shanahan said that the lines between commercial and military applications in China have become blurred, and as Mr. Buck [Rep. Ken Buck, R- Co.] Quoted, ‘General Dunford says that your company is directly supporting the Chinese army.’ And Peter Thile, who actually serves on Mr. Zuckerberg’s board on Facebook, said that ‘Guggles’ activities with China are treason.’ They accused you of treason. “
“We had a chance to meet in person with General Dunford, we have clarified that what we do in China compared to our peers is very limited in nature,” Pichai dismissed the charge of treason said.
“Our AI work in China is limited to a handful of people working on open source projects and is happy to share and engage with the office to fully explain our work in China,” he said. .
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Getz summarized his accusations as his time was running out and said, “When the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that an American company is directly supporting China, when you have an AI center, when you go to universities Working with … It really questions your commitment to our country and our values.