The Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI cloud contract bidding course of has drawn loads of consideration. Earlier this month, Google withdrew, claiming ethical considerations. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos responded in an interview at Wired25 that he thinks that it’s a mistake for large tech firms to show their again on the U.S. army. Microsoft president Brad Smith agrees.
In a blog post today, he made clear that Microsoft intends to be a bidder in authorities/army contracts, even when some Microsoft workers have an issue with it. Whereas acknowledging the moral concerns of right this moment’s most superior applied sciences like synthetic intelligence, and the methods they could possibly be abused, he explicitly said that Microsoft will proceed to work with the federal government and the army.
“First, we consider within the sturdy protection of america and we would like the individuals who defend it to have entry to the nation’s finest know-how, together with from Microsoft,” Smith wrote within the weblog publish.
To that finish, the corporate needs to win that JEDI cloud contract, one thing it has acknowledged from the beginning, even whereas criticizing the winner-take-all nature of the deal. Within the weblog publish, Smith cited the JEDI contract for example of the corporate’s need to work carefully with the U.S. authorities.
“Just lately Microsoft bid on an essential protection mission. It’s the DOD’s Joint Enterprise Protection Infrastructure cloud mission – or “JEDI” – which is able to re-engineer the Protection Division’s end-to-end IT infrastructure, from the Pentagon to field-level help of the nation’s servicemen and ladies. The contract has not been awarded nevertheless it’s an instance of the type of work we’re dedicated to doing,” he wrote.
He went on, very like Bezos, to wrap his firm’s philosophy in patriotic rhetoric, moderately than about profitable profitable contracts. “We wish the folks of this nation and particularly the individuals who serve this nation to know that we at Microsoft have their backs. They may have entry to one of the best know-how that we create,” Smith wrote.
All through the piece, Smith continued to stroll a advantageous line between patriotic responsibility to help the U.S. army, whereas rigorously conceding that there will likely be completely different opinions in a big and numerous firm inhabitants (a few of whom aren’t U.S. residents). Finally, he believes that it’s vital that tech firms be included within the dialog when the federal government makes use of superior applied sciences.
“However we will’t anticipate these new developments to be addressed properly if the folks within the tech sector who know essentially the most about know-how withdraw from the dialog,” Smith wrote.
Like Bezos, he made it clear that the corporate management goes to proceed to pursue contracts like JEDI, whether or not it’s out of a way of responsibility or financial practicality or slightly of each — whether or not workers agree or not.