Technology

Tech Giants' New AI Partnership Launches

By / Sep 29, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

The Partnership on AI, formally announced this week, hopes to create artificial-intelligence standards along with a structure for self-governance within the industry. Among the initial members of the partnership are five of the largest technology firms in the world.

A rumored collaboration among several of the world’s tech giants now has a name—along with a mission.

The Partnership on AI, a team-up between Amazon, DeepMind, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft, formally launched on Wednesday, with the goal of helping shape the way artificial intelligence is governed.

(By the way, most of the company names listed above are ones you run into online every day, but you may not recognize DeepMind. That one is an artificial intelligence firm owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet.)

The new organization, whose launch was first hinted at earlier this month, says it will develop best practices for artificial intelligence; devise standards for transparency, fairness, and ethics; and research the issues around AI as they arise. That research will be released under an open license, the group says on its website.

In comments to TechCrunch, partnership members said they want to have an open discussion about both the need for artificial intelligence and its growth. And the conversation won’t be limited to the corporate world—the partnership has pledged that nonprofits, activists, and other experts on the AI issue will be added to the group in the weeks to come.

The goal is to allow corporations and nonprofits to take on the many issues with artificial intelligence in tandem.

“The power of AI is in the enterprise sector,” IBM Research’s Francesca Rossi told TechCrunch. “For society at large to get the benefits of AI, we first have to trust it.”

Partnership on AI: Who’s Missing?

While the group has a several big names on its initial roster, The Guardian notes that two major AI advocates are missing: Apple, which has doubled down on artificial intelligence in recent years with its Siri platform; and OpenAI, an artificial intelligence firm backed by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

The partnership’s two cochairs, DeepMind’s Mustafa Suleyman and Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz, say that further partnerships are being looked into.

“We’re in the process of inviting many many different research labs and groups,” Suleyman told the newspaper. “We encourage there to be a diverse range of effort in AI, and we think that’s a great thing. We’re going to be really opening this up as widely as possible to different efforts.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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