When industry leaders launched a non-profit organization in September to create best practices for artificial intelligence, one company was notably missing.
On Friday, the Partnership on AI announced that Apple had joined as a founding member. The organization, which will publish research on the ethics, transparency and reliability of AI, among other things, was initially made up of tech giants Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and IBM.
Though Apple collaborated with the partnership since before it was announced last year, it wasn’t officially a member until now. Tom Gruber, Apple’s head of advance development of Siri, will represent the company.
“We’re glad to see the industry engaging on some of the larger opportunities and concerns created with the advance of machine learning and AI,” Gruber said. “We believe it’s beneficial to Apple, our customers, and the industry to play an active role in its development and look forward to collaborating with the group to help drive discussion on how to advance AI while protecting the privacy and security of consumers.”
The partnership also announced six independent members will join the board of trustees. The members range from academic leaders and AI researchers to human rights advocates. In addition to creating best practices for AI, the partnership hopes to advance public perception of the technology. By diversifying the board, the group said it is working to find a balance between corporate and not-for-profit members.
ACLU of Massachusetts holds one of the new board positions. Executive Director Carol Rose, who will sit on the board, said the Partnership on AI is important to ensure artificial intelligence is “developed in ways that enhance, rather than threaten, human rights and civil liberties.”
The Partnership on AI will hold its first meeting on Feb. 3 in San Francisco, after which it plans to announce the initial areas of research it will undertake.