Google AI Takes a Stance Against Oil and Gas

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Google AI Takes a Stance Against Oil and Gas

After being exposed by Greenpeace Google decides to back off building custom artificial intelligence for oil and gas extraction

After an exposé by Greenpeace on the 19th of May Google later announced it won’t build custom artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction.

Greenpeace says in the report:

“Contracts between tech firms and oil and gas companies are now found in every phase of the oil and gas production chain and are significantly undermining the climate commitments that Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have made.”

Microsoft and Amazon have not reacted in the same way as Google.

Greenpeace argued that the spread of artificial intelligence in extraction of oil and gas will play a: “…key role in returning the industry to expansion.” As such, although Google seems to hold a lower percentage in the market than companies such as Amazon.com — this is certainly a move in the right direction. Elizabeth Jardim, senior corporate campaigner for Greenpeace USA said the following in CNBC on the 20th of May:

“While Google still has legacy contracts with oil and gas firms that we hope they will terminate, we welcome Google’s move to no longer create custom solutions for upstream oil and gas extraction.”

It goes to show that a large technology company can make decisions about who they want to support or not.

Technology and the application of advanced artificial intelligence is a moral decision, and it is fortunate that Google recognises this to such a great extent.