At what point do we stop pretending that Google is just another big business trying to advance the tech sector and turn a profit in our capitalist public system? This story is yet another brick in that growing wall of evidence. Following some complaints from Greenpeace, the tech giant announced this week that it would no longer be developing custom Artificial Intelligence applications intended to assist in the location and exploration of oil and natural gas reserves. This is an obviously political move that is winning them some applause from environmental activists and extremists but will wind up costing them a significant amount of money. (Associated Press)
Google says it will no longer build custom artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction, separating itself from cloud computing rivals Microsoft and Amazon.
The announcement followed a Greenpeace report Tuesday that documents how the three tech giants are using AI and computing power to help oil companies find and access oil and gas deposits in the U.S. and around the world.
The environmentalist group says Amazon, Microsoft and Google have been undermining their own climate change pledges by partnering with major oil companies including Shell, BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil that have looked for new technology to get more oil and gas out of the ground.
As many of you know by now, any time I hear someone talking about limiting the advance of Artificial Intelligence, I’m pretty much a fan of the idea. That’s particularly true when it comes to robots, who will eventually wake up and decide that it’s impractical to keep all of these humans hanging around. But that’s not really what Google is doing here.