Five of the biggest names in the world of technology have joined forces to create the Partnership on AI. The aim of the group is to increase public awareness of artificial intelligence, conduct research, and promote best practice guidelines.
Comprising Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft -- although, interestingly, not Apple -- the group says that it does not intend to lobby government or government bodies. Instead, the aim is to promote AI so that it can be used to "help humanity address important global challenges such as climate change, food, inequality, health, and education".
These are clearly lofty goals, and a far cry from chatbots and predictive text, but with AI seeming to be the latest tech bubble, it is little wonder that so many big names are getting in on the action. Elon Musk has already set up his own OpenAI group, but at the moment there are no plans for the two to work together.
Over on its website, the Partnership on AI is described as having been created "to benefit people and society":
Established to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.
There is to be a firm focus on ethics and privacy, and moving forward, the group will hold a number of key tenets close to its heart:
- We will seek to ensure that AI technologies benefit and empower as many people as possible.
- We will educate and listen to the public and actively engage stakeholders to seek their feedback on our focus, inform them of our work, and address their questions.
- We are committed to open research and dialog on the ethical, social, economic, and legal implications of AI.
- We believe that AI research and development efforts need to be actively engaged with and accountable to a broad range of stakeholders.
- We will engage with and have representation from stakeholders in the business community to help ensure that domain-specific concerns and opportunities are understood and addressed.
- We will work to maximize the benefits and address the potential challenges of AI technologies, by:
- Working to protect the privacy and security of individuals.
- Striving to understand and respect the interests of all parties that may be impacted by AI advances.
- Working to ensure that AI research and engineering communities remain socially responsible, sensitive, and engaged directly with the potential influences of AI technologies on wider society.
- Ensuring that AI research and technology is robust, reliable, trustworthy, and operates within secure constraints.
- Opposing development and use of AI technologies that would violate international conventions or human rights, and promoting safeguards and technologies that do no harm.
- We believe that it is important for the operation of AI systems to be understandable and interpretable by people, for purposes of explaining the technology.
- We strive to create a culture of cooperation, trust, and openness among AI scientists and engineers to help us all better achieve these goals.