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Google will no longer support technologies that aid oil and gas drilling

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Google have released a statement advising that they will no longer develop and create artificial intelligence (AI) that assists in oil and gas drilling. Following a report from Greenpeace, the company was named alongside other major technology outlets in building AI to speed up the process of oil and gas extraction.

In a pledge to do more to halt the impacts of climate change, Google has indicated they will no longer engage in technology to support drilling.

drill

Following a damning report published by Greenpeace, Google will now refrain from creating AI technologies to aid in the extraction of oil and gas.

Greenpeace called out the tech company, along with Microsoft and Amazon, for their participation in the oil and gas extraction industry despite pledges to work towards ‘carbon negative’ operation by 2030:

“All three tech companies appear to be aware of the disconnect between their stated climate goals and the real world climate impact of aiding the fossil fuel sector in becoming more productive and efficient.”

So maybe Google’s statement isn’t so heroic after all, but it is still being welcomed and celebrated by environmental groups globally. So what does the new move from Google mean exactly?

Firstly, the company will no longer generate new algorithms to speed up the procedures which allow for the locating of oil deposits or approximations of where oil and gas companies will anticipate finding crude oil. Additionally, Google will honour existing contracts – which were left unidentified – but will not create new partnerships with any oil and gas companies. But, such companies will still be free to utilise Google’s cloud platform to run technology operations or store collected data.

So although the announcement is applauded, are big companies such as Google really doing the best of their ability to fight the future consequences of climate change and reduce their current environmental footprint?

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May 21, 2020