Big technology companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Google have jockeyed to secure lucrative contracts supplying their products and services to the military. Apple, though, has shown less interest in the market. And when it recently bought a startup that was working on a controversial Pentagon project, Apple ended that company’s work on the project, The Information has learned.
The startup, a maker of artificial intelligence software called Xnor.AI, had been involved in Project Maven, an effort by the U.S. Department of Defense to use AI software to analyze imagery captured by military drones. Apple acquired Xnor.ai recently and decided to terminate the work, a person familiar with the matter said. Google's participation in Project Maven sparked protests from thousands of its employees, prompting it to withdraw from the project.