The world’s biggest tech companies together store the largest databases on the planet. Like goods and coins that came before, data is becoming a virtual currency of the modern world. The value of data depends on what applications it could have for artificial intelligence. The company that owns the data also owns the AI. Right now that means that companies like Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have a lot of power.
Five Tech Companies to Work Together on AI
Today, these five companies came together to start a new endeavor. The project is called Partnership on AI and is looking at the future of artificial intelligence.
The group is going to conduct research and promote best practices in the field of AI. In practice, this will mean that the group of five tech companies is going to meet frequently. They are going to come together to talk about advances in artificial intelligence.
The group also opens up the possibility of communication across company lines. Partnership on AI is going to provide a formal structure for people from all five companies to openly discuss artificial intelligence. On an everyday basis, these teams are actually competing with one another. Each company hopes to develop the best products and the best services that make use of machine intelligence. Partnership on AI believes that there can be a place where constant competition can be put aside. For the purpose of communication and cooperation to achieve common ends.
The initial five companies that have founded the group are going to financially support the group for the foreseeable future. However, the group will not remain closed to just these five companies: Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft. There are expectations that membership as well as involvement will increase. The group welcomes user activists, not-for-profit organizations, ethics specialists as well as other stakeholders. Any addition is a plus to the ongoing conversation about AI.
Bringing in Stakeholders
Mustafa Suleyman is one of the founders of Partnership for AI and head of applied AI at DeepMind. Deep Mind is part of Partnership for AI and a subsidiary of Alphabet. He said that one of the goals of the group is to also involve people that will be impacted by AI. Recognizing that they are stakeholders in the future.
The organizational structure will allow non-corporate groups to stand on equal footing and have equal leadership at the side of large tech companies.
Francesca Rossi is an AI ethics researcher at IBM Research. She believes that the power of artificial intelligence lies in the enterprise sector. She thinks that society has to first trust AI, before we can see the benefits of using it.
The focus of Partnership on AI is far from pop-culture discussions about the possible risks of artificial intelligence. The approach is a more serious one. Looking at the complexities of AI, potential risks do present themselves. We are already facing a list of challenges that isn’t exactly short when it comes to current uses of AI. Computers can amplify negative tendencies that humans already have. A biased world leads to biased data sets and biased data sets lead to artificial intelligence frameworks that are biased.
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