Tech giants come together to launch 'Partnership on AI'

29 Sep 2016 | Written by Ramya ; Edited by NewsBytes Desk

Tech giants like Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon together announced the launch of their new 'Partnership on AI'.

The new partnership between these powerful companies would conduct research on Artificial Intelligence and promote the best practices.

As a self-governance initiative, these companies would frequently come together to discuss advancements in AI.

Otherwise competitors, these companies also opened a formal structure for communication.

In context: Partnership on Artificial Intelligence

IntroductionWhat is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an interesting branch of computer science that is constantly and actively changing and developing.

AI is the intelligence displayed by machines and is applied when a device mimics cognitive functions associated with human minds like learning and problem solving.

An ideal "intelligent" machine is a rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success.

Data's prevalence in the modern world

The biggest technology companies in the world hold some of the largest databases. Data has become important and more prevalent in the modern world. The value of data is rooted in its application to artificial intelligence; that's why every data-owning company effectively owns AI.
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29 Sep 2016Tech giants come together to launch 'Partnership on AI'

InvolvementPeople impacted by AI to get involved

Financial support for 'Partnership on AI' would come from the initial group members - Amazon, DeepMind, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft; the membership and involvement are expected to increase in the future.

Non-profit organizations, user activists, ethicists and other stakeholders would join the discussion in the coming days.

Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind's Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman said they want "people impacted by AI" to also get involved.

Amazon's statement

Machine Learning Science and Core Machine Learning Director Ralf Herbrich said: "We're in a golden age of machine learning and AI. This partnership will ensure we're including the best and the brightest in this space in the conversation to improve customer trust and benefit society."

StructureEqual representation between corporate and non-corporate members

The organizational structure of the alliance is designed to allow corporate and non-corporate members on the board to have equal leadership.

Google's Greg Corrado and Suleyman said they "strongly support an open, collaborative process for developing AI."

The organization hopes to invite academics and specialists in policy and ethics.

The 'Partnership on AI' does not reportedly intend to lobby government organizations.

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Research TeamsStrong Artificial Intelligence research teams

The group's all five corporate founders have strong Artificial Intelligence research teams.

Some of the companies' AIs have become household names, for instance, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa, IBM's Watson.

Google is involved with the alliance through its UK-based AI Technology subsidiary DeepMind.

DeepMind made news in Mar'16 for developing the first AI ever to defeat a world-class human player in Asian board game Go.

Promoting 'change'

IBM's AI Ethics Researcher Francesca Rossi said: "The power of AI is in the enterprise sector. For society at-large to get the benefits of AI, we first have to trust it." The alliance seems to be promoting 'change' rather than preach to the tech world.

Other CompaniesTwo tech biggies missing

Two big Silicon Valley companies are missing from the partnership.

Apple, which is said to be enthusiastic about the alliance, is notably absent; the company falls behind in AI compared to its competitors in the group.

Elon Musk-backed OpenAI research organization, which seeks to advance digital intelligence to benefit humanity, is absent too.

Companies like Twitter, Baidu, and Intel are missing from the alliance.

27 Jan 2017Apple to join AI partnership

Sources said Apple Inc will join the Partnership on AI alongside Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Sources said Apple's joining would be announced soon.

Apple was one of the first companies to introduce a basic AI for users with the introduction of Siri on the iOS in 2011.

Apple's move is seen as an indicator that the company is relaxing its secrecy on technology.