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By | Kat Hall 29th September 2016 11:14

Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society... Doesn't sound sinister at all

Google 'n' pals hope to herald machine-human 'golden age'

RotM Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have joined forces to create an AI partnership intended to pacify public fears about the human-replacing technology.

The somewhat Soviet-named Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society is notable for not including Apple - which is notorious for ploughing its own furrow in this area. Elon Musk's OpenAI is also conspicuous for its absence.

In a blog post, Google's London-based DeepMind said the non-profit organisation "aims to create a forum for open discussion around the benefits and challenges of developing and applying cutting edge AI."

The spiel reads: "It’s precisely because AI has the potential to have such a major positive impact on the world, that we believe it’s critical that we build new models of open collaboration and accountability around it."

Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder & head of Applied AI at the Google-owned biz, wrote: "Together, we hope to advance public understanding of AI and formulate best practices on some of the most important and challenging ethical issues in the field."

He said the partnership intends to address the "really difficult questions that are arising within the field."

"We also want to make it easier for those in other fields to understand, assess and engage with our scientific breakthroughs and consider the broader social and ethical impacts of our applications.

Ralf Herbrich, the director of machine learning at Amazon, said: "We’re in a golden age of machine learning and AI. 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.”

Francesca Rossi, research scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, said: "This partnership will provide consumer and industrial users of cognitive systems a vital voice in the advancement of the defining technology of this century – one that will foster collaboration between people and machines to solve some of the world’s most enduring problems – in a way that is both trustworthy and beneficial.” ®

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