Apple joins Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft in AI initiative

Following Bloomberg’s report, the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society (what a name) officially announced that Apple is joining other tech companies as a founding member of the AI initiative. Companies will work on research projects, AI best practices and more.

The Partnership on AI was officially unveiled back in September 2016. At the time, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft were the only founding members. Apple, Twitter, Intel and Baidu didn’t participate in the initiative.

But Apple was already enthusiastic about the project, so today’s news is more about formalizing the company’s involvement. Siri co-founder and CTO Tom Gruber is going to represent Apple. You can find the full board of trustees on the partnership’s website.

In other news, six independent individuals are also joining the board based on their past achievements when it comes to AI. Dario Amodei (OpenAI), Subbarao Kambhampati (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence & ASU), Deirdre Mulligan (UC Berkeley), Carol Rose (American Civil Liberties Union), Eric Sears (MacArthur Foundation) and Jason Furman (Peterson Institute of International Economics) will participate in the discussions.

While the Partnership on AI has yet to clarify its areas of work, you can expect to see research papers on AI. The companies could write about ethics, inclusivity and privacy as these are hot topics. The first meeting is taking place on February 3rd.

Artificial intelligence is great, but it needs some ethical supervision in order to benefit everyone. The Partnership on AI could also be a great lobbying tool, proving that tech companies are acting responsibly. It’s a good way to win everyone’s trust.

Finally, Apple couldn’t miss out on this opportunity if it wants to hire some of the best AI engineers. Apple shows that it has a seat at the AI table. That’s why engineers working for the company also published a research paper. Now that it’s getting more competitive to hire the best AI talent, these signs are becoming increasingly relevant.