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Michael R. Bloomberg

Google Walks Away From America's Security

It bowed to pressure instead of standing up for our country.

What happened to “Do the right thing?”

What happened to “Do the right thing?”

Photographer: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Google’s decision not to renew a contract to develop artificial intelligence for the Defense Department was a victory for the employees who had protested it. It was also a defeat for U.S. national security, patriotism, and the cause of limiting civilian casualties in war.

The program, officially named the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team but known in the Pentagon as Project Maven, uses machine-learning software to interpret video images and could improve the accuracy of drone strikes, among other things. Last month, around a dozen Google employees quit their jobs and thousands of others signed an open letter demanding the company exit the program because it “stands in direct opposition to our core values.”