Saturday 27 October 2018 4:08 pm

Microsoft says it will sell artificial intelligence and other technology to US military


Microsoft has announced plans to sell artificial intelligence to the US military, along with any other technology they need "to build a strong defence".

It comes just months after Google told the Pentagon it would not sell technology products that could be used for weapons.

The debate about AI use in the military comes as the US is in a race with China to build next-generation security technology, but Microsoft has now opted to take on the challenge, according to a report in the New York Times.

"Microsoft was born in the United States, is headquartered in the United States, and has grown up with all the benefits that have long come from being in this country," Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith was quoted in the report as saying.

However, a number of people are opposed to tech companies involvement in military and federal law enforcement, with thousands of Google employees signing a petition after it was revealed the company old AI technology to the Pentagon to analyse drone footage.

Google, who has since dropped out the running for a cloud computing contract with the Pentagon due to a conflict of corporate values, have been criticised by Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

"I think U.S. tech companies who say we will not support the U.S. Military, we will not work on any technology that helps our military, but yet goes into China and facilitates the Chinese government surveilling their people is pretty shocking,” he said.

Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has also shown his support for the US military and his company are seen as the frontrunner for that cloud computing contract, while Microsoft are also strong contenders.