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Google is Helping the Defense Department Develop Drone Strike Technology

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Google have been secretly lending their expertise to a controversial venture – helping the United States Defense Department develop algorithms for drone surveillance technology.

This story, originally published by Gizmodo last week, revealed that Google had been contributing to Project Maven. Maven’s mission is to “accelerate DoD’s integration of big data and machine learning” and Google seems to have been working on the project since July last year.

When military drones (and the military has 1100 of them) carry out sweeps over large land masses such as Iraq and Syria, they often collect literally millions of hours of footage. With current technology, the process of going through the data and finding out what’s worth paying attention to is a enormous task.

Google’s machine-learning helps with that.

Their algorithms assist the DoD classify 38 classes of objects into categories such as cars, houses or humans and will flag items of interest for intelligence analysts to review. This technology is currently intended to assist in “non-offensive” capacities only.

It is hard to ignore, however, that such tech might just make predator drones better at finding and eliminating their targets.

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