Google backs off on AI for oil and gas extraction

Source Getty Images

Source Getty Images

Google says it won't build custom artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction, taking an environmental stance that distinguishes it from cloud computing rivals Microsoft and Amazon.

Google Cloud took approximately $65 million from oil and gas companies in 2019, the spokesperson said, adding that it accounts for less than 1% of total Google Cloud revenues.

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. "We therefore have companies from several industries using this platform to exit their data centres and run their IT systems on the Cloud".

Specifically, Google Cloud and its high-performance computing unit will no longer "build custom AI/ML algorithms to facilitate upstream extraction in the oil and gas industry", according to a statement from the company.

The move comes in response to a report from Greenpeace called 'Oil in the Cloud, ' which identified the tech giant as one of three main tech companies helping fossil fuel companies expand their extraction projects.

Greenpeace applauded the new commitment.

"While Google still has legacy contracts with oil and gas firms that we hope they will terminate, we welcome Google's move to no longer create custom solutions for upstream oil and gas extraction", Liz Jardim, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner, told Forbes. Schlumberger sells Google's software to other oil and gas companies. "Indeed, since public awareness about these contracts has increased, all three companies have updated their websites to target the Energy Sector, rather than Oil and Gas explicitly". Greenpeace further noted that Microsoft and Amazon hold far more contacts than Google. Their tools have actually been released to accelerate shale removal, particularly from the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.

The Greenpeace report also singled out Microsoft and Amazon Web Services for their support of the fossil fuel industry.

"Microsoft can never truly achieve its recently announced "carbon negative" goal while continuing to aid the oil and gas sector with exploration and production", Greenpeace said. "The reality is that the world's energy now comes from fossil fuels and, as standards of living around the world improve, the world will require even more energy". Total did not respond to a request for comment. The organization called tech companies to end these relationships and Google was the first to answer that call.

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