Hey Google! Who Should The US Government Kill Today?

Authored by Jake Anderson via TheAntiMedia.org,

Only months after it was disclosed that the Pentagon was using artificial intelligence (AI) to hunt for terrorists, officials have now acknowledged that Google has been collaborating with the Department of Defense to use AI in analyzing drone footage. The disclosure comes amid an uproar among Google employees who aren’t happy to be assisting in the development of military applications.

While Google has had controversial contracts with the government before — most notably with the NSA — this is its “pilot” project with Project Maven, which is itself the Pentagon’s own flagship weaponized AI program. The purpose of Project Maven is to implement Big Data and machine learning into the U.S. military, which officials say is currently in a new AI arms race with China and Russia. According to information from an internal mailing list, Google will now join this arms race and assist the DoD with storing and analyzing the massive troves of data from aerial drones.

When multiple anonymous Google employees expressed outrage over the disclosure, as Gizmodo first reported, a company spokesman issued the following statement:

“We have long worked with government agencies to provide technology solutions. This specific project is a pilot with the Department of Defense, to provide open source TensorFlow APIs that can assist in object recognition on unclassified data,” the spokesperson said. “The technology flags images for human review, and is for non-offensive uses only. Military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns. We’re actively discussing this important topic internally and with others as we continue to develop policies and safeguards around the development and use of our machine learning technologies.”

Google’s military contract with the DoD has thus far shielded its collaboration with Project Maven by housing it in ECS Federal, a North Virginia technology staffing company. Their specific tasks have included gathering data from a fleet of 1,100 drones to help the Pentagon better identify terrorists. Google’s deep learning algorithms can help in object identification, differentiating people from vehicles in order to maximize the effects of military strikes against ISIS.

Flirtations between Silicon Valley and the government have gone on for a while in the age of privatized surveillance during the War on Terror. However, this may be the first time a tech giant like Google, which also wields inordinate control over online information, has been openly integrated into military operations.

As the Intercept noted, former Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, also chaired the Defense Innovation Board (DIB) and encouraged a collaboration of military agencies and Silicon Valley, calling for “an exchange program and collaboration with industry and academic experts in the field.”

Air Force Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan, director for defense intelligence for warfighter support and the Pentagon general running Project Maven’s AI “prototype warfare,” suggested the same at the GEOINT2017 conference. He joked that someone from Google should whisper some trade secrets in his ear.

It appears the two are getting their wish as the United States government officially conscripts Google into their war against the Islamic State.


FreddieX BennyBoy Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:49 Permalink



Sensitive to both the potential legal ramifications of its actions and to the hostility to America’s criminal wars both inside and outside the company, Google stressed in a statement that its collaboration “is for non-offensive uses only,” saying “the technology flags images for human review.”


Google’s partnership in such nefarious operations threatens it not only with legal sanction around the world, but also with serious commercial repercussions. The company’s decision to proceed despite these dangers points to the increasingly vital role of military contracts in the business operations of the major technology giants.


In 2016, the Pentagon set up an entity called the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, aiming to “bring the technological innovation and best practice of Silicon Valley to the US Military,” chaired by none other than former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.


Censorship and surveillance are the linchpin of this emerging military-technology-intelligence nexus. As the United States prepares to wage “hot” wars against “peer” militaries such as Russia and China, the growth of domestic anti-war sentiment will be combatted through the use of mass censorship, aided by artificial intelligence, with political profiling on the basis of social media communications.


In reply to by BennyBoy

Endgame Napoleon purplewarrior Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:18 Permalink

Okay, there is the question of Big Goverment.

There are other questions, because although our own Big Goverment is bad enough, there are worse Big Governments that do not have the US’ best interests at heart.

One question: Do we have a world safe for Republics—even waning, half-banana Republics like this one—with only the Chinese goverment and other autocracies using their top brains to work on AI?

Another question: How many of these multinational (“American”) companies, working on sensitive robotics / AI / whatever, are staffed only or mostly with US citizens who keep the sensitive knowledge in this country?

The same thing applies in matters related strictly to commerce, like how the intellectual property issue impacts the trade deficit.

These CS brainiacs work in international “teams.” Some nations—or the “team” members from some nations—refuse to observe intellectual property law, taking US intellectual property and creating their own companies via their government-owned banks.

Why should it be any different with miltary AI than with smartphones or designer purses?

With regular consumer products, foreign companies churn out copies of “US-designed” (international “team”-designed) products, selling them into their own nations’ markets and bypassing the American products, not that it matters to vastly underemployed US workers in a country where half of the prime-working-age, male citizens between the ages of 18 and 34 live in mom’s basement due to unaffordable rent and insufficient employment.

Most multinational (“US”) companies put the vast bulk of their jobs in Asia, where there is a very uniform, very non-racially-diverse workforce of low-wage workers.

That is where most of their net investment goes.

Although many working-class Americans deal with this every day for far less economic reward, Kumbaya liberals in cutting-edge tech companies (of all types) must find it rougher to deal with a racially / ethnically / religiously diverse workforce in the low-wage jobs, so they avoid locating those lower wage jobs in diverse America, whereas they celebrate diversity at the top to the point of hiring lots of citizens of foreign countries to work in those high-level jobs, dealing with the most sensitive types of vanguard military tech, etc. 

Or, maybe, they require US citizenship for the employees working on the most sensitive military tech?

These tech companies do have the practical problem of a limited number of top minds capable of working on sophisticated AI. The top software-engineering brainiacs are, supposedly, scattered across the world, but since software engineers work in “teams,” the absence of individuals should not thwart overall progress.

The USA was able to put the first man on the moon 50 years ago, staffing the NASA team with US citizens, without the naivety (or greed [whichever it is]) of Kumbaya globalism overriding the nation’s interests.

In reply to by purplewarrior

Earth Ling Endgame Napoleon Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:44 Permalink

"If you believe they put a man on the moon, man on the moon". REM


I used to "believe" in intellectual property until I listened to Kinsella's arguments against. From this page (which I found via a ZH commenter, apologies that I don't remember who), you can listen to the book for free.



In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

css1971 BGO Thu, 03/08/2018 - 03:52 Permalink


Fascism is a form if socialism which allows the means of production to remain in private hands. Then regulates the concept of property ownership itself into meaninglessness under the state.

We should probably talk about corporatism instead of outright fascism, which also requires a strong nationalistic component.

If you take a look at China today, what you see there is pretty close to classical fascism. They flipped from communist to fascist in 1982.

The end result of virtually all "socialism" is fascism. Democratic socialists, social democrats, "progressives" all lobby for increasing the power of the state, while retaining private ownership. Reality is these people are fascists (or at least corporatists), not socialists.

The result is a large and powerful state, which all commercial interests inevitably have to get as close to as possible. France for example 60% of all GDP spending is government spending of one form or another. US, its about 45%.

In reply to by BGO

Freedumb Thu, 03/08/2018 - 02:54 Permalink

This was all known from the beginning. Look at who was involved in Google from its inception, people with high level clearance and government ties. Do some reading into how Larry Page and Sergey Brin got their seed capital. Welcome to Communist America.

KuriousKat Thu, 03/08/2018 - 03:05 Permalink

Ahh thats why Eric Schmidt and Dmitri Alperovitch of Crowdstrike are MIT together as fellows in an Machine learning project..School Never ends..does it?

VideoEng_NC Thu, 03/08/2018 - 05:47 Permalink

Maybe the funniest & saddest title I’ve seen to date, makes you want to pull the plug & go Amish.  Glad we moved away from the major cities.  Still think we have more concerns over conventional human craziness before AI kicks in but it’s a fleeting conversation.

roddy6667 Thu, 03/08/2018 - 06:37 Permalink

Google was founded by the American Intelligence community. People who work there will tell you that so many of their co-workers "used to work" at the NSA or CIA or DIA, etc.  Also, many Google employees go on to careers at the alphabet soup agencies. There is a revolving door between Google and the intelligence community. They are inseparable. 

ConnectingTheDots Thu, 03/08/2018 - 10:56 Permalink

What happened to "do no evil",  Google?

 am tired of their censorship, spying, and now militarism.

I personally have switched to Duck Duck Go as my primary search engine.

CatInTheHat Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:26 Permalink

When you understand that we fund the terrorists, it's easy to see threw this excuse they use for development of technology to be used against the American people.