Google is developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology for China which “clearly has a lot of military applications” and should be investigated by the CIA or FBI, technology entrepreneur Peter Thiel said.
Under the one-party political system in which the Chinese Communist Party rules, Google’s AI China-based research and development will absolutely end up in the Chinese military’s possession, Thiel said.
“Google has a major AI research lab in China, where, even though it’s not working directly with the Chines military, in effect, all the technology gets handed on to the Chinese military. … This is in black-and-white in the constitution of the Chinese Communist Party, as of 2017, it got amended to stress that there needs to be civil-military fusion in China, where all things need to be integrated.
Anything that has civilian use must also be handed over to the People’s Liberation Army, the PLA,” Thiel said in an Aug. 11 interview on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures.
Thiel, a supporter of President Donald Trump, said: “The question about Chinese interest in [Google’s artificial intelligence development] is one that needs to be looked at much more carefully. That’s why I’ve argued that the FBI or the CIA should be looking at this. I think it is unprecedented in the last 100 years or ever that a major U.S. company refused to work with the U.S. military and has worked with our geopolitical rivals. This is not a liberal-conservative thing. This is absolutely unprecedented.”
In October 2018, Google refused to bid on the U.S. Department of Defense’s $10 billion JEDI contract, claiming that cooperation with the U.S. military might violate its “AI principles.”
In June 2018, after Google employees protested against working with the Pentagon, the tech giant ended an existing AI contract with the Pentagon.
WorldTribune.com noted in a July 11, 2018 repot that a former U.S. defense official called out Google for boosting the PLA with the Google AI China Center in Beijing.
Former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said that “anything that’s going on in that center is going to be used by China’s military” based on its strategy of “civil-military fusion,” where every major Chinese company and university has an obligation to share information with the Chinese government.