Mr. Pichai told a meeting in San Francisco the arrangement was in the "early" organizes and may not advance.
The company publicly confirmed the existence of the controversial project during a Senate committee hearing in late September. The project has faced significant backlash, including from Vice President Mike Pence who recently stated: "Google should immediately end development of the "Dragonfly" app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers". This is the first time that the company has addressed that they are working on this China-centric plan.
But the initiative has sparked an internal debate over Google's corporate values that's spilled into public view.
"If Google would operate in China, what would it look like?" "We have built a set of hacks and we have kept them. China will teach us things that we don't know", Gomes said.
The platform, which still requires Chinese government approval, would reportedly block certain websites and search terms related to human rights and religion.
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Employees have criticized the company not just for developing Dragonfly but doing so in secret, preventing them from knowing if their work was in service of the censored search engine. However, firms like Google and Facebook have developed other products and opened offices in the country despite the bans.
Given that the mainland market harbors hundreds of middle-class users, whose personal data Google and its tech rivals are eager to exploit for profits, Pichai said Google was obligated to "think hard" about the problem of returning to China, and that U.S. companies shouldn't scuttle what could be an enormously profitable initiative just because it would require making a few ethically dubious concessions to a totalitarian state.
"When you are so early with a powerful technology, how do you thoughtfully work your way through it?" When speaking on issues like Google's choice not to renew its contract with the Department of Defense for its artificial intelligence work known as Project Maven, Pichai made it a priority to downplay the role of employee protest in the decision. But, at the event, he gushed, "It turns out we'll be able to serve well over 99 percent of the queries ..." That includes areas such as cybersecurity and logistics. Various Google employees suggested the company to drop off this research.
The announcement could prompt more questions from US policymakers, some of whom have accused Google of being evasive about Project Dragonfly.