Google has pulled out of the competitive Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract. A spokesperson for the tech giant said that they couldn’t be sure that JEDI would align with their “AI principles.” The action has several parallels with the company’s decision to drop out of Project Maven. According to former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, this has further strained the relationship between the military and Silicon Valley.
“The relationship between Google and the Department of Defense is quite fraught right now,” Work said. “Google apparently has the position that ‘We will come to the Department of Defense and we will determine whether or not you meet our standards.’ And that is totally okay. That’s their prerogative as a company. If they want to work with the United States government and want to help in our national defense, they should say, ‘Okay, here is where we are concerned. Can you tell us how this is going to be used so we can align this with our principles?”