Around a dozen Google employees have quit and close to 4,000 have signed a petition over the company’s involvement in a controversial military pilot program known as “Project Maven,” which will use artificial intelligence to speed up analysis of drone footage.
Project Maven, a fast-moving Pentagon project also known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT), was established in April 2017. Maven’s stated mission is to “accelerate DoD’s integration of big data and machine learning.” In total, the Defense Department spent $7.4 billion on artificial intelligence-related areas in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The project’s first assignment was to help the Pentagon efficiently process the deluge of video footage collected daily by its aerial drones—an amount of footage so vast that human analysts can’t keep up. –Gizmodo
Project Maven will use machine learning to identify vehicles and other objects from drone footage – with the ultimate goal of enabling the automated detection and identification of objects in up to 38 categories – including the ability to track individuals as they come and go from different locations.