US Air Force
Google has confirmed that it is allowing the Pentagon to use some image recognition technologies as part of a military project.
The communication follows a report from Gizmodo, who said artificial intelligence tech was used to analyze drone footage.
The news site has said that many of the search giant’s workers only learned of the collaboration last week with our internal messaging system.
It added that some are “outraged”.
A Google spokesman has said that the relationship involved the provision of software tools to allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to use its TensorFlow machine learning code.
“The technology flags images for human review, and this is not offensive use only,” he added.
“The military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns.
“We are actively discussing this important topic internally and with others, as we continue to develop policies and measures to safeguard the development and the use of our machines, technologies for learning.”
Also if you Google the former chairman, Eric Schmidt, became an advisor to the Pentagon in 2016, the company has been cautious about being linked to the US military.
Prior to that, he pulled one of his robots from the Pentagon-organized competition, even though he was the favorite to win, in part because of such concerns.Data glut
Gizmodo has identified the drone initiative has involved as a Maven Project – a scheme announced last July to use computer algorithms to identify objects of concern from the “enormous amount of moving or still images”.
The idea is to concentrate the human efforts on the sections of footage that are marked for further analysis and to avoid them having to wade through all the other hours of recorded material.
The DoD has said that his immediate goal would be 38 classes of objects related to the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
“There is no ‘black box’ that provides the system TO the government must, at least not now,” said the Colonel has Cukor.
“The only way to do that is with business partners, next door to us.”
Google has declined to discuss his involvement further.
But the BBC understands that the algorithms share have not been designed for the detection of the face, but instead have been developed to identify generic objects, including cars, birds and trees. It is believed that they are not used to fly or otherwise operate the drones themselves.
Google is not the only US firm to be involved.
Chip-maker Nvidia has already blogged about the Maven Project, and is also understood to be working with the DoD on the effort.
An expert has said that the relatively low cost of operating drones like the MQ-1 Predator MQ-9 Reaper had taken him to an excess of video material.
“The large amount of data produced by the US Air Force and the CIA, as well as allies, such as the UNITED kingdom, which operate in these [drones] in areas of conflict, as in Iraq and Afghanistan – have exceeded the processing and exploitation of the capacity of the traditional human-centric intelligence processing organizations within these countries,” said Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank.
“As a leader in the development of IA technology, Google is an obvious choice for the ministry of Defence to the partner, even if one whose employees and shareholders might be less than 100% delighted at the prospect of working with the military.”
Mr. Bronk added that the UNITED kingdom’s Royal Air Force is even more severe shortage of images to intelligence analysts, and would probably want to share the access to Google TO the tech if it was possible.
The BBC has asked the Ministry of Defence for comment.