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Tech Company Alliance to Tackle Artificial Intelligence Issues

Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft have created an alliance to help educate the public on artificial intelligence and set standards for future research in the field.

The lengthily-titled ‘Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society’ aims to address widespread fears related to AI, including autonomous driving and the increasing threat of job losses due to improvements in robotics and AI technology.

“Every new technology brings transformation, and transformation sometimes also causes fear in people who don’t understand the transformation,” said Facebook’s director of AI Yann LeCun.

Notably missing from the alliance is Apple, which is said to be in talks with the group but is not yet a member officially. Also missing is the Elon Musk-backed research company OpenAI, which is one of the highest funded groups in the industry with US$1 billion.

“We’re in the process of inviting many, many different research labs and groups,” said co-founder of Google subsidiary DeepMind and the alliance’s interim co-chair Mustafa Suleyman.

“We encourage there to be a diverse range of effort in AI, and we think that’s a great thing. We’re going to be really opening this up as widely as possible to different efforts.” 

The alliance says it will encourage communication between AI manufacturers, and will liaise with ethical and philosophical experts to consider the wider impacts of the technology. Academics and research groups are expected to join the alliance in the future.

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