Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft join forces to explore the challenges, opportunities and ethics of artificial intelligence
Several of the tech sector’s biggest names have come together to form an Artificial Intelligence organisation that will explore the ethics and applications of technology that could transform the entire industry.
Amazon, Facebook, Google (DeepMind), IBM and Microsoft are founding members of the ‘Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society’, or ‘Partnership on AI’ for short, and will invite academics, non-profit organisations, specialists in policy and ethics to join the board.
Partnership on AI itself is a non-profit organisation and will conduct and publish research on an open licence in areas such as ethics, transparency, privacy, interoperability, reliability and interaction between humans and AI systems.
Partnership on AI
It says it is not a lobbying organisation and all members will contribute financial and research resources. The board itself will comprise equal numbers of corporate and non-corporate members.
“AI technologies hold tremendous potential to improve many aspects of life, ranging from healthcare, education, and manufacturing to home automation and transportation,” said the Partnership.
“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.”
AI a threat?
AI is being used by tech firms to improve applications, such as Google Translate, power personal assistants like Siri, and help businesses achieve optimum decisions through platforms like IBM Watson. Only this week, Microsoft detailed plans to introduce AI into Office 365.
But there are concerns. Numerous figures, including Stephen Hawking, have expressed concerns AI could become a threat to the human race.
Elon Musk shares these views and has called for regulation of AI research at an international level to prevent the creation of unknown forces.
Musk is not a member of Partnership for AI and neither is Apple, which has its own machine learning ambitions, not least the aforementioned Siri which has just arrived on Mac.
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