Apple joins Google, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft in Artificial Intelligence research group

The “Partnership on AI” today confirmed that Apple Inc. is a founding member:

It has been rewarding and energizing to see all of the enthusiastic support about the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI) following our announcement in September. In the months since then, we’ve been working with colleagues and partners from a range of disciplines to build out a robust multi-stakeholder organization and to formulate directions for forthcoming research programs and activities. Today we have some important updates to share.

Apple has joined the Partnership on AI as a founding member. The company has been involved and collaborating with the Partnership since before it was first announced and is thrilled to formalize its membership alongside Amazon, Facebook, Google/DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft.

Diversity of thought across the organization is crucial to ensure that we effectively explore and address the influences of AI on people and society, provide guidance on AI best practices, and seek to advance the public’s understanding of AI. We are committed to having balanced representation at the leadership, executive, and operations levels.

Today, we are announcing the inaugural Board of Trustees, the board that oversees the Partnership on AI. First, we’re excited to welcome six new Independent board members. These new members are 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).

The new members will join Greg Corrado (Google/DeepMind), Tom Gruber (Apple), Ralf Herbrich (Amazon), Eric Horvitz (Microsoft), Yann Lecun (Facebook), and Francesca Rossi (IBM) on our Board of Trustees, to create a board that strikes a balance between corporate and not-for-profit memberships. All Board members will share equal voting rights.

This is a pivotal moment for the Partnership on AI, as we establish a diverse and balanced Board of Trustees that extends and broadens our existing leadership. The inclusion of varying perspectives and continuous, critical reflection has been a core commitment from the start, and we will continue to add new voices as we progress.

The Board of Trustees will provide direction and oversee the general activities of the Partnership on AI. An Executive Steering Committee will guide, commission, and evaluate activities within the overall objectives and scope set by the Board. An Executive Director, appointed by the Board, will oversee the day-to-day operation of the organization.

The first meeting of the Board of Trustees is taking place on Friday, February 3rd in San Francisco. We expect to announce more details sometime shortly after this meeting, including how other people and organizations can participate and join the Partnership, as well as the initial program of research and activities.

Thanks again for everyone’s support. We are very excited about the next stages of the Partnership and look forward to working with the people and organizations who care about these issues over the months and years ahead.

— Partnership on AI

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    1. It’s good to have all the players in the same room. A common good can emerge from that. Other scenarios are awful. (1) government agencies make policy about AI research, dulling the whole enterprise. (2) hackers hijack corporate AIs and operate them like sock puppets to drain your bank accounts. (3) one AI emerges from melee competition to take over the world.

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