The most prolific players in the IT industry are working together to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field. Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft have created the Partnership on AI.
Individually, all of these organizations have been working on AI for years. With technology understanding developing rapidly, the first instances of consumer level AI are emerging. In his keynote for Microsoft Ignite 2016 Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, focused his entire speech on Democratizing AI for every person and every organization.
In his keynote Mr. Nadella gave LIVE examples of AI implementations like Cortana. Connecting more and more applications and services, and using a neural network to learn more about what, how and when to show it across devices, Cortana is a great example of an AI agent, a personalized front-end that helps me as a user to benefit from the AI framework.
The new partnership aims to ensure applications of AI are beneficial to people and society. They intend to do this by studying the potential societal impact of AI systems, and develop and share best practices. They will conduct research on specific AI applications in different sectors of the economy, develop educational resources and host open forums to widely disseminate information about the latest topics in the field and support an ongoing public discussion about the technology.
Some good results can come from this partnership. With the combined strength of these industry giants, and the open invitation to participate the new partnership is giving for anyone who has something to contribute, huge steps can be made in developing the field of AI. An added benefit of these organizations working together is that this makes it possible for them to create a common framework and interface. In this sense it is a pity Apple is not participating in this partnership. Their Siri is one of the most advanced AI agents available right now. Let’s hope it’s absence will not force us to choose between different AI frameworks in the future, just like right now there is not even any compatibility for something as simple as a charging cable.