Briefing: Google CEO to meet Pentagon top brass over company’s AI work

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Google’s AI Work in China Spurs CEO Sitdown With Pentagon Brass – Bloomberg

What happened: Google CEO Sundar Pichai will meet with General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking military advisory committee in the US, to discuss topics that will likely include Google’s work in China. The search giant invited Dunford to the meeting after he said that Google’s work in China benefits the Chinese military.

Why it’s important: Dunford previously referenced a Google AI lab that the company opened in China in 2017. US President Donald Trump picked up on the senior military official’s comments, tweeting that Google is “helping China and their military, but not the US.” Google denied the claims. The conflict, which poses a risk to the company’s cloud-computing business, has arisen in part because both China and the Pentagon are potential buyers of Google’s services. The company has tested a filtered search engine for the Chinese market but has also turned down or terminated contracts with the US military and Department of Defense, leading to the accusations that the company is, directly or indirectly, helping China.