April 19, 2018

Why Silicon Valley Shouldn’t Work With the Pentagon

Featuring Robert O. Work, and Elsa B. Kania

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Scott Malcomson

Is Silicon Valley going to war? In 2013, Amazon beat IBM for a contract to host the United States intelligence community’s data cloud. Microsoft now markets Azure Government Secret, its cloud-computing service designed specifically for federal and local governments, to the Defense Department and intelligence agencies. And last year, Google signed a contract with the Pentagon for Project Maven, a pilot program to accelerate the military’s use of artificial intelligence.

These partnerships might ease anxiety in the Defense Department about China’s artificial-intelligence advances and ominous, state-led fusion of civil and military technology development. But a comparable fusion of the United States government and Silicon Valley would be a mistake.

This is not so much because it would compromise Silicon Valley values, as more than 3,000 Google employees argued in a recent letter about Project Maven to the company’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai. Rather, it’s because the United States’ edge in techno-military competition exists in great part because we have a tech sector that is not dominated by the state and its needs.

Read the full article at The New York Times


  • Robert O. Work

    Senior Counselor for Defense and Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security

    Secretary Robert O. Work is the Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security at the Center for a New American Security and the owner of TeamWork, LLC, which s...

  • Elsa B. Kania

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research focuses on Chinese military...