Microsoft joins Facebook, Amazon, Google and IBM in Partnership on AI Alliance

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For many pundits Artificial Intelligence holds an existential threat to humanity, but long before this happens it is likely that automation will present a significant threat to our jobs and privacy.

Today Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft announced that they will create a non-profit organization, the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI),  that will work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field.

The objective of the Partnership on AI is to address opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society. Academics, non-profits, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the Board of the organization, and together the organization’s members will conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics, fairness, and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology. It does not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies.

The organization’s founding members will each contribute financial and research resources to the partnership and will share leadership with independent third-parties, including academics, user group advocates, and industry domain experts. There will be equal representation of corporate and non-corporate members on the board of this new organization. The Partnership is in discussions with professional and scientific organizations, such as the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), as well as non-profit research groups including the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), and anticipates announcements regarding additional participants in the near future.

AI technologies hold tremendous potential to improve many aspects of life, ranging from healthcare, education, and manufacturing to home automation and transportation. Through rigorous research, the development of best practices, and an open and transparent dialogue, the founding members of the Partnership on AI hope to maximize this potential and ensure it benefits as many people as possible.

Apple, generally considered behind in AI research compared to the other stake holders,  is a notable absence from the collective.

Read more about the Partnership at their Website here.

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