There’s Help, and There’s Help

Recall that Alphabet Inc, through its Google arm, has refused to help the US defend itself by refusing to work with DoD on the application of artificial intelligence to military projects.  After the resignations described at the link, Alphabet pulled its Google arm out of the project altogether, with effect in 2019 when its current contract expires.

On the other hand, Alphabet is enthusiastic about its Google working within the People’s Republic of China.  Mobvoi Inc, headquartered outside Beijing, makes smart watches and smart speakers for sale within—and outside—the surveillance state.

Its engineers build apps using TensorFlow, Google’s free set of development tools for artificial intelligence.

And

Now those allies [like Mobvoi] will likely be crucial as Google embarks on a broader China expansion strategy.

Indeed,

In his three years as Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai has been a frequent visitor to the region, meeting with top Chinese officials and encouraging businesses to use Google’s free open-source tools like TensorFlow….

Alphabet won’t work on AI projects with DoD, but they’re perfectly happy to make much of their AI capability freely available to the PRC.

Hmm….

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