Aug 27, 2020 - Technology

U.S. Navy to tap Google machine learning for repairs

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Photo: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. Navy plans to tap Google's cloud and machine learning technology and use drone imagery, to modernize its process for determining when vessels and facilities are in need of repair.

Why it matters: The planned move comes amid internal and external scrutiny over the ties between Big Tech and the U.S. military.

  • Google ended its work on a previous Defense Department deal — Project Maven — amid pressure from employees and did not put in a bid for JEDI, a huge cloud computing contract covering much of the Pentagon's needs.

Details:

  • Google is working with Simple Technology Solutions, a Google Cloud partner that handles federal contracts.
  • In a press release, Google notes that the Navy "currently spends billions per year on maintaining and repairing its fleet of vessels and other platforms like aircraft and facilities."
  • The goal is to transform a largely manual, labor-intensive process into one where computers help identify corrosion and other causes for repair.
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