Google drops out of bidding for massive Pentagon cloud contract

Oct 12, 2018, 15:30
Google drops out of bidding for massive Pentagon cloud contract

Google is not bidding on the JEDI contract since the company is not confident that the contract would align with its AI principles and there were several areas in the contract that were out of scope with present government certifications.

Microsoft Azure VP Julia White says the expanded Azure Government Secret service would make the company a "strong option for the JEDI contract", referring to the $10B, winner-takes-all Pentagon cloud contract.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud involves the migration of defence department data to a commercially operated cloud system.

Google will not be competing for the Pentagon's estimated $10bn cloud computing contract.

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Google had already decided not to renew an artificial intelligence contract with the Pentagon after employees voiced unhappiness at the company working on military projects. The company stated that in working on such a project, it was directly involved in warfare. The final requirements for the project were released in July after a lobbying campaign by tech companies, including Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, that opposed the Pentagon's plans to choose just one victor for the project instead of splitting the contract among a number of providers.

Google has abandoned the race to win the Pentagon's United States dollars 10 Billion Cloud Competition.

That work will not include JEDI, which seeks to improve the Pentagon's cloud capabilities.

Cloud deal with U.S. military would have clashed with Google's AI values, company says. Google also said in its latest statement that it would "continue to pursue strategic work to help state, local and federal customers modernize their infrastructure and meet their mission critical requirements". Companies are due to submit bids for the contract, which could last as long as ten years, October 12, according to a reported from Bloomberg, which broke the story Monday afternoon. Post that incident, Google CEO Sundar Pichai even released a set of guidelines for ethical use of its AI tools.

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Google's decision to drop out of Project Maven sparked a backlash in Washington at an inopportune time for the company as it tries to expand its business with the federal government.

It is now up to GAO to verify or reject contractor protests.

The front-runner for the contract is widely believed to be Amazon, which already has a $US600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency. Initial bidding began two months ago and will conclude this week, with leading contenders including Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM.

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