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Google Backs Away From Controversial Military Drone Project

Google's deal with the Pentagon, Project Maven, will end in 2019, and the tech company will not pursue another.

Last updated on June 1, 2018, at 3:18 p.m. ET

Posted on June 1, 2018, at 2:46 p.m. ET

There will be "no follow-on to Maven," Google's controversial contract with the Pentagon that uses the tech company's artificial intelligence technology to speed up analysis of video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes, BuzzFeed News has learned. The current contract will end in 2019, and Google will not pursue another.

Google's decision, which Gizmodo first reported, was announced by Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene during an internal meeting for employees of its cloud division, called Weather Report.

"We've always said this was an 18-month contract that we did, so it ends in March of 2019," Greene said, according to a source familiar with the meeting. "And there will be no follow-on to Maven."

The Maven contract had been so contentious that about a dozen Google employees resigned in protest over the company's involvement, and it sparked a widespread identity crisis and backlash among employees at the tech giant.

Google did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

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    Davey Alba is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. While working for BuzzFeed News, she won the 2019 Livingston Award for international reporting.

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