Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM And Facebook Form Partnership On AI To Set Standards, Promote Understanding

Artificial intelligence has the potential to be a wondrous innovation or horrifying disaster. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM, and Facebook have formed their own Avengers-like partnership in order to establish best practices and standards for AI development and promote public understanding of this novel technology.

The partnership will create a non-profit organization and invite other non-profits, academics, and specialists in ethics to form their board, the “Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society” or “Partnership on AI”. Each of the companies will contribute financial, research, and leadership resources. They also plan to collaborate with groups such as the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). The organization does not intend to lobby the United States government.
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This “Big Five” of AI is conspicuously missing some other major players-- in particular, Apple and Elon Musk’s OpenAI. Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz stated, “We’ve been in discussions with Apple, I know they’re enthusiastic about this effort, and I’d personally hope to see them join.” Apple has yet to comment on the partnership and has a history of marching to the beat of its own drum. Apple filed its own opposition to the United Kingdom’s Investigatory Powers Bill in 2015 despite there already being a coalition comprised of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo.

OpenAI’s co-founder and CTO, Greg Brockman remarked, “We’re happy to see the launch of the group-- coordination in the industry is good for everyone. We’re looking forward to nonprofits being included as first-class members in the future.” The company however had yet to jump on board. OpenAI boasts one of the best funded AI research labs. 
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The organization remarked, “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.”

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