Google says it won't build AI tools for oil and gas drillers

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The pledge comes after a Greenpeace report published on Tuesday highlighted how U.S. tech giants are helping oil and gas firms find fossil fuels around the world.

It said that as profits from oil and gas dwindle, cloud companies were being hired to reduce production costs.

Google will no longer develop new artificial intelligence tools to help oil and gas companies extract crude, the company announced Tuesday. Given Google Cloud's relatively small slice of the oil and gas market, it wasn't a huge stretch for the company to vow not to compete on AI/ML.

A Google spokesperson said: "Google Cloud is a general objective infrastructure and data processing platform", they said.

The conservationist team says Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have actually been threatening their very own environment adjustment promises by partnering with significant oil firms consisting of Shell, BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil that have actually looked for brand-new innovation to obtain even more oil and gas out of the ground.

Greenpeace applauded Google's decision.

As such Google Cloud's business with upstream oil and gas is just a tiny fraction of a bigger picture.

A declaration from the business Tuesday complied with a Greenpeace report that records exactly how the 3 technology titans are utilizing AI and computer power to aid oil firms locate and accessibility oil and gas down payments in the United States and worldwide.

Yes, but: The company will honor its current contracts. Following the crash in oil prices - largely due to the coronavirus crisis squeezing demand at a time when a supply glut was already evident - companies are now turning to computing services to help maximise returns, the report notes.

Amazon has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040, while Microsoft has pledged to be carbon negative by 2030. Amazon and Microsoft have not pulled out of deals with some of world's largest oil and gas corporations. Greenpeace further noted that Microsoft and Amazon hold far more contacts than Google.

"We agree that the world confronts an urgent carbon problem and we all must do more and move faster to reach a net zero-carbon future", Microsoft wrote in the post. Total did not respond to a request for comment.

What we're watching via Axios' Amy Harder: It's too soon to tell whether Google proves to be an outlier or an early indicator of a trend, but one thing is clear now: Environmentalists will be ramping up the pressure on other tech giants and companies in other sectors to sever ties with oil and gas firms now that they've had success with one.



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