Google will now not be renewing its contract to do artificial intelligence work on behalf of the US Pentagon, a company source says.
The decision comes behind strong opposition in the technology giants own workforce.
A large number of Google employees quit while many thousands of others signed as a protest petition where they were against taking part in the Pentagon project, affectionately known as Maven.
Their fear was that it is the first step towards using artificial intelligence for war purposes. As yet, there has been no official statement from Google.
Top executive Diane Greene told staff this past Friday that there would be no follow-up after the current contract expired next March sources within Google have said.
Kate Conger however, a journalist for the tech news website called Gizmodo, reported that Google had not yet cancelled Project Maven. Google also has not ruled out future work with the U.S.military.
It has also been reported that this contract with the Pentagon is worth less than $10m to Google but that it could potentially lead to more extensive work with the Pentagon.
Project Maven has been reported to involve machine learning and engineering talent to distinguish between objects and people in drone videos.
Up to 4,000 Google employees in April signed an open petition saying that by Googles involvement in the project, the internet giant was putting users’ trust at risk, and ignoring its moral and ethical responsibility.
It has been suggested that internal emails that executives saw the contract as a huge opportunity while at the same time being concerned about how the companies participation would be viewed.