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Tilting at Windmills

By Steve Geary | 06/11/2018 | 1:18 PM

According to the New York Times earlier this month, “Google, hoping to head off a rebellion by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for lethal purposes, will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work when a current deal expires next year.”

Maybe I have too much imagination, but I can also envision using this technology to find lost hikers, locate migratory herds, or find illegal logging or mining operations.

The technology “uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images.”  That kind of technology could have broad application in logistics, too.  Mapping is often pretty important in the context of designing and operating logistics networks.  Presumably, the technology under development at Google could be pretty useful in a broader logistics context.

What’s next for the employees at Google?  Are they going to boycott boot manufacturers because soldiers wear boots?  Are they going to stop driving on interstate highways because they were funded by the federal government to allow rapid movement of military forces?  Are Google employees going to stop using the internet because defense research created it?

A dictionary definition of hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform.”

The definition must be accurate; I googled it.



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About Steve Geary

Steve Geary

Steve Geary is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee's College of Business Administration, and is on the faculty at The Gordon Institute at Tufts University, where he teaches supply chain management. He is the President of the Supply Chain Visions family of companies, and Chief Operating Officer at ROSE Solutions, consultancies that work across the government sector. Steve is a contributing editor at DC Velocity, and editor-at-large for CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and Who's Who in Executives and Professionals. In November of 2007, Steve was recognized for "Selfless Service to Our Nation and the People of Iraq" by the Deputy Secretary of Defense.


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