Victory! Google will not bid on $10B Pentagon cloud computing contract


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/09/personal-bright-lines.html


#2

Looks like Amazon is going to be able to raise their price for this contract. What other options are there? Azure?

Honestly, it was probably going to go to Amazon anyway, but a little competition might have convinced them to lower their price.


#3

Clearly Google needs to split into two separate entities, light-side Google and dark-side Google, so the latter can Be Evil as much as it likes. /s


#4

Big deal. This just means that Google will green light its Sentient Information Transfer Helix project instead.


#5

So - they started a wholly owned subsidiary of a subsidiary to bid on it?


#6

How is this a “victory”? Now some other unknown company, shadier and even less accountable, will bid on it and win. Victory would have been if the Pentagon had given up on the program itself.


#7

That would definitely qualify as victory - the program loses legitimacy this way. There’s also a possibility that mentioned shady company will screw something up.


#8

“legitimacy”? what are you talking about? It’s a military contract, they couldn’t care less about perceived legitimacy.


#9

It doesn’t matter if they care. What matters is that will not bid on that contract and the story is in the news - it’s about public opinion.
It may be hard to imagine it, but US military interventions are not universally viewed in good light.
What would you think about Google if it indirectly participated in things like this:



Or in drone-based “double-tap” bombings?


#10

You keep missing the point. The only victory is in the military not following through on this project. Google deciding to not bid on it is great, good for them. But all it means is that unless the Pentagon drop the project (no mention of that being the case) it will in fact be awarded to some other company. That’s not a victory.


#11

Google not normalizing participation of private companies in war crimes is a good first step IMO. And if at least some people see the story in the news and it helps convince them not to vote for war-mongering politicians it’s even better.
As for the cloud-computing contract, if someone less competent will get it - that’s a win too.


#12

Uh, I think the cat is out of the bag on that one.


#13

I completely agree, that’s why it is important that Google backed out.


#14

I put you in the lower right quadrant.


#15

#16

I’m an engineer; half of my water is in a redundant glass.


#17

Nonsense. You can be a snarky asshole if you want, that’s your prerogative. The fact of the matter is, the only victory here is for Google employees and for users of their products who want to feel a little better about themselves. The military will continue to advance its AI based weapons systems with or without Google.


#18

Ok, then explain how the situation would be improved by Google going ahead with their bid for JEDI?

This news isn’t sufficient, but it is necessary. Therefore: victory. Victory in the battle, if not the war.


#19

theyo do seem to be missing the pointo.


#20

What the Pentagon is asking for is Big. Big in the sense that delivering an AI system on that scale is far beyond all but a small handful of companies. They’ve reduced the bidding pool from perhaps 4 to 3, and they have taken the #1 seed out of the contest. That significantly improves the odds that the system either won’t get built, or that the eventual bid winner won’t be capable of delivering a working system.

That is not a complete victory, but it’s very significant progress.