Google drops out of $10bn Pentagon deal

Google's parent company Alphabet has pulled the company from contention for the latest cloud contract, stating it clashes with its AI values

10Oct

Google will not be competing for the Pentagon's estimated $10bn cloud computing contract. Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, has claimed the project conflicts with its corporate values regarding the development of AI.

Reporting for the Washington Post, Aaron Gregg said: "The contract, known as the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure, or JEDI for short, calls for a massive cloud computing infrastructure that can handle classified US military data and enable new defence capabilities.

"Bids are due October 12. In a statement to the Washington Post, Google said it is dropping its bid for ethical reasons and because it lacked certain government certifications," he added.


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The decision by Google has followed months of criticism from thousands of Google workers who were opposed to the idea that their research would be militarized, although Google has argued that its technology has never been used directly in combat.

The Tech Workers Coalition claimed pressure from Google employees was the true reason for Google's exit. Commenting in a tweet, it said: "Google had every intention of bidding for, and possibly winning, the JEDI contract.

"It spent considerable resources and hours of top executive time courting military officials to do exactly this. It only dropped out due to sustained employee pressure," it added.

Google's decision to drop out of the race followed criticism around the JEDI contract and, more recently, accusations that Google "is complicit in human rights abuses" with regards to its new Chinese-based search engine, Dragonfly.

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