Google's synthetic intelligence chief departs

Doris Richards
September 13, 2018

Google Cloud has announced that Dr. Andrew Moore will head up Google Cloud AI following the decision by current facility head Dr. Fei Fei Li to step down and return to her professorship at Stanford University.

Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, will fill Li's shoes and join as head of the unit at the end of 2018, according to a Google Cloud announcement Monday.

During that time he helped set up Google's research center in Pittsburgh, and he'll be based in that location once he takes up his new role, Google Cloud Chief Executive Diane Greene said in a blog post. Li had never relinquished her position as head of AI at Stanford and she is returning to this post full-time. In internal e-mails, Li praised the contract but cautioned colleagues to avoid mentioning the AI component of the deal for fear that the public would latch onto concern about "weaponised" AI.

In early June, Google retreated from a Pentagon cloud contract following employee protests.

"Project Maven" is an AI project that studies imagery and believes that it could eventually be used to improve drone strikes in the battlefield and in order to work on this project, Google Cloud needed to use footage gathered by military drones to build its machine learning (ML) models, but it lacked the official government authorisation to hold that kind of sensitive data in its Cloud.

The China-born Li also attracted controversy among employees and United States politicians as she led Google's move to open a research lab for artificial intelligence in Beijing. I don't know what would happen if the media starts picking up a theme that Google is secretly building AI weapons or AI technologies to enable weapons for the Defense industry. "I'd be super careful to protect these very positive images".

As for Moore, he is no stranger to Google, having previously worked for the company between 2006 and 2014.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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