Alphabet’s Google will no longer bid for a $10 billion contract with the Pentagon.
The contract is for a program called Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), which would allow the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to use cloud services for storing massive data. Google has decided to not pursue the contract since the latter could apparently conflict with the company’s corporate principles. “"While we are working to support the US government with our cloud in many areas, we are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn't be assured that it would align with our AI Principles and second, we determined that there were portions of the contract that were out of scope with our current government certifications," Google's statement said.
The company is however open to a bidding for a part of it if the DOD employs more cloud computing companies' services for the program. But the Pentagon suggests that splitting the contract among multiple providers might make the project too complex and adversely affect the data migration process.
In the past, Google’s employees have been vocal about not supporting any contract with the U.S. government that might in any way contribute to warfare technology. A CNN article in June reported that Google wouldn't renew its contract for the Pentagon's Project Maven program when it ends in March 2019. The program uses artificial intelligence for drone strikes.
With Google stepping back, the Pentagon's $10 billion JEDI contract might be eyed by Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon (as indicated by a July report in Bloomberg). Bids are due by Friday, October 12.