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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.

Go deeper

Dec 4, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: Trump admin mulls blocking cloud firms from countries like China

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A proposed executive order that could keep American cloud computing companies out of certain foreign countries is being circulated within the Trump administration and to tech industry players, Axios has learned, disconcerting the firms that could be affected.

Why it matters: The proposal would likely represent a chance to plant another tough-on-China flag before the president leaves office. The Trump administration has repeatedly sought to prove that it will stand up to countries that it believes want to supplant or infiltrate American tech.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
51 seconds ago - Axios on HBO

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried mystified by value of NFTs

Crypto exchange FTX, valued last week at $25 billion, recently launched an NFT marketplace by selling an image of the word "Test" for $270,000.

  • FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" that he doesn't quite understand the appeal, but adds that he doesn't personally appreciate many visual arts.
Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

White House touts "progress" after Manchin, Schumer meet with Biden

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) huddled with President Biden on Sunday morning in Delaware for a "productive discussion" about a deal on Biden's soft infrastructure reconciliation bill, per a White House readout of the meeting.

The latest: "They continued to make progress, will have their staffs work on follow-ups from the meeting, and agreed to stay in close touch with each other and the wide range of members who have worked hard on these negotiations," per the White House.