Microsoft, Amazon in race for $10bn Pentagon project
The Pentagon has selected Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS, the cloud computing arm of Amazon, as two finalists for its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract, as Oracle missed the bus.
The JEDI Cloud computing contract at the US Department of Defence (DoD) is aimed to bring the entire military under the envelope of a single Cloud provider.
The project saw backlash from several quarters including employees at tech giants like Google and Microsoft, alleging that the "contract is massive in scope and shrouded in secrecy, which makes it nearly impossible to know what we as workers would be building".
Succumbing to pressure from employees, Google last year dropped its bid to be part of the JEDI contract.
"After evaluating all of the proposals received, the Department of Defence has made a competitive range determination for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud request for proposals, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
"The two companies within the competitive range will participate further in the procurement process," Elissa Smith, DoD spokesperson for Public Affairs Operations told TechCrunch on Thursday.
The DoD is likely to announce the winner this month.
Last year, Microsoft employees raised ethical questions on facilitating incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on weapons, illegal surveillance and technologies that could cause "overall harm".
"We need clear ethical guidelines and meaningful accountability governing how we determine which uses of our technology are acceptable, and which are off the table.
"Microsoft has already acknowledged the dangers of the tech it builds, there is no law preventing the company from exercising its own internal scrutiny and standing by its own ethical compass," a letter by Microsoft employees detailed.
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