Apple has finally joined the Partnership on AI, an artificial intelligence research group that includes Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, DeepMind/Google, and Facebook.
Confirmed by Apple’s Tom Gruber, the head of advanced development of Siri said in a statement:
“We’re glad to see the industry engaging on some of the larger opportunities and concerns created with the advance of machine learning and AI.
“We believe it’s beneficial to Apple, our customers, and the industry to play an active role in its development and look forward to collaborating with the group to help drive discussion on how to advance AI while protecting the privacy and security of consumers.”
Partnership on AI was established in September 2016 to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies and advance the public’s understanding of AI.
The group intends to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.
Together, the organisation’s members will carry out research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics, fairness, transparency, privacy, and interoperability; privacy; collaboration between people and AI systems; and of the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology.
It does not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies.
The founding members of the organisation are contributing financial and research resources to the partnership.
Leadership will be shared with independent third-parties, including academics, user group advocates, and industry domain experts.
Last year, Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz, one of the partnership’s two interim co-chairs, told The Guardian, “We’ve been in discussions with Apple, I know they’re enthusiastic about this effort, and I’d personally hope to see them join.”