Though Maven itself was of limited value to the company, senior Google executives allegedly viewed it as a gateway to lucrative defence contracts involving projects like as surveillance systems that could monitor entire cities. Google employees were reportedly not happy that their work could be used for military purposes, and now Google says its new ethical guidelines don't mesh with the project. As the Washington Post wrote, Amazon is also one of the only major companies that supported a single, winner-take-all approach to the bidding process, which competitors have complained could essentially give it a monopoly on cloud computing contracts for the military in the future.
Google isn't the only major tech company working with parts of the U.S. military.
For its part, Google told Bloomberg that it also supports the idea of splitting the JEDI contract between multiple providers, and that it would have submitted a bid on those terms. Had the JEDI contract been open to multiple vendors, we would have submitted a compelling solution for portions of it. "Google Cloud believes that a multi-cloud approach is in the best interest of government agencies, because it allows them to choose the right cloud for the right workload".
In April, more than 4,000 Google employees signed a petition demanding that the company discontinue Project Maven and promise to never "build warfare technology".
Google's principles prevent it from getting involved in projects in which its software could be used in weapons or to violate human rights. "We will continue to pursue strategic work to help state, local and federal customers modernize their infrastructure and meet their mission critical requirements".
In June 2018 Google published a set of principles for its artificial intelligence research, with the company stating that it will not use its AI technology to create "weapons or other technologies whose principal goal or implementation is to cause of directly facilitate injury to people". The company faces allegations from President Donald Trump and his allies that it biases search results against politically conservative sources.