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Amazon CEO Bezos Offers Support To Pentagon

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Amazon founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said his company will continue to support the U.S. Department of Defense, noting that the U.S. will be in "big trouble" if big technology companies stop working with the Pentagon.

"We are going to support the Department of Defense, this country is important," Bezos said at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.

Bezos' comments come as tech companies in the U.S. have come under intense criticism for pursuing huge contracts with the Department of Defense.

Amazon was seen a top contender for the Pentagon's multi-billion dollar cloud-computing contract. The Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI cloud contract could be worth up to $10 billion over a decade if all options are exercised.

However, the Pentagon announced in October that Microsoft emerged as the surprise winner of the contract. In response, Amazon filed a lawsuit in federal court in November, contesting the Pentagon's award of the contract to Microsoft.

Amazon's rival Google decided not to compete in the cloud computing contract, saying last year that the project might not align with its artificial intelligence or AI principles.

In April 2018, thousands of Google employees urged CEO Sundar Pichai to pull out of Project Maven, a controversial Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to analyze video imagery used by military drones.

Following the employee backlash, Google later said in June 2018 that it will not allow its artificial-intelligence products to be used in military weapons. The tech giant decided not to renew the contract when it expired in March this year.

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