What happens when all of world’s biggest tech companies, who command a near 100% share over all of the world’s data, unite ? A huge, historic, ‘Partnership on AI’.

Yep, in a first-of-its-kind attempt to benefit people by the use of Artificial Intelligence (and for once not train them to ultimately outdo us), Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM — all of the possible stalwarts in the internet tech domain — are coming together for a new initiative, aptly termed ‘Partnership on AI‘.

The initiative’s aim, in its own words, is “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.” You can consider this organisation like a self-governing body of the world’s largest data holders, who will frequently meet to discuss advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

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In the organisation’s own words,

The objective of the Partnership on AI is to address opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society. Together, the organization’s members will conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics, fairness, and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology. It does not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies.

The initial financial grant for this newly formed organisation will come from organization’s founding members, each of whom will contribute financial and research resources to the partnership and will share leadership with independent third-parties, including academics, user group advocates, and industry domain experts.

There will be equal representation of corporate and non-corporate members on the board of this new organization. The Partnership is in discussions with professional and scientific organizations, such as the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), as well as non-profit research groups including the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), and anticipates announcements regarding additional participants in the near future.

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The development is particularly interesting the current scheme of things. While most of us and a few pseudo intellectuals in the tech circle have been busy discussing the doomsday that is set to dawn upon us, largely because of AI, there have been a select few who have been talking about the benefits AI could bring to us humans. This new initiative is perhaps the first ever serious take on highlighting how AI research globally — in varied domains — will ultimately benefit humans, and won’t just result in huge robots and holographic brains trying to destroy the human race.

The members also add, that 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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