Apr 4, 2018

Employees urge Google to drop Pentagon AI project

Photo: NurPhoto via Getty Images

Thousands of Google employees, including senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company's participation in a Pentagon AI project that could sharpen drone targeting, The New York Times reports.

The letter, sent to CEO Sundar Pichai, says Google "should not be in the business of war" and should pull out of the program, Project Maven, which uses artificial intelligence to improve visual recognition.

Google's response: "Any military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns.... We’re actively engaged across the company in a comprehensive discussion of this important topic.”

Between the lines: Silicon Valley and the computer industry have historic roots in government contracting. Older companies such as IBM and Oracle have longstanding defense ties, but at younger firms like Google, the workforce is often more divided.

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Sanders requests recount of Iowa recanvass after results show shrunken margin

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement Tuesday night he will request a recount of the Iowa Democratic Party's recanvass results.

Where it stands: Both Buttigieg and Sanders requested partial recanvasses in Iowa last week after results were delayed and showed several errors following a software malfunction on caucus night.

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Energy deputy secretary nominee faces heat after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."