Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and Google launch nonprofit to promote AI best practices

Five tech giants have joined forces to navigate the tricky world of artificial intelligence.

When new technology enters the realm of public use, it often does so much faster than regulators are able to adapt to it. AI is a prime example of a field, where the technology is moving ahead at lightning speeds while the rules and best practices around its use remain at a standstill.

The world’s largest tech companies may have either recognized widening gap between the law and technology, or have run into their own conflicts of interest regarding AI. Either way, they’ve come together to form a nonprofit to determine the ethics and best practices around the deployment of AI software.

The group, dubbed the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, has been formed by Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and IBM, each of which will have a representative on the 10-member board. Each of these companies have developed machine learning technology and plan to expand their presence in the space in the near future.

We’re in a golden age of Machine Learning and AI. As a scientific community, we are still a long way from being able to do things the way humans do things, but we’re solving unbelievably complex problems every day and making incredibly rapid progress.

“This partnership will ensure we’re including the best and the brightest in this space in the conversation to improve customer trust and benefit society,” Ralf Herbrich, director of machine learning science and core machine learning at Amazon, said in a statement. Herbrich will serve as Amazon’s representative in the partnership.  

The board will include Amazon’s Ralph Herbrich, Google/Deepmind’s Mustafa Suleyman as interim co-chair, Google’s Greg Corrado, Facebook’s Yann LeCun, IBM’s Professor Francesca Rossi and Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz as interim co-chair. 

The possibilities for positively impacting a global society with advances in AI are numerous, ranging from connectivity, healthcare, and transportation. As researchers in industry, we take very seriously the trust people have in us to ensure advances are made with the utmost consideration for human values,” said Yann LeCun, director of Facebook AI research, in a statement. 

Members will contribute to the partnership financially and through research on the issues surrounding the advancement of AI, including ethics, fairness and inclusivity, transparency, privacy, and interoperability, collaboration between people and AI systems, and the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology.

This partnership will not serve as a government lobby, but will include an equal representation of corporate and non corporate groups. The company has included a list of “tenets” or institutional ambitions here.

Related: Microsoft wants to bring eligible nonprofits onto its cloud service

[source]Partnership for AI to benefit people and society[/source]

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