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An AI research group backed by some of the biggest names in tech announced today that another giant was joining its project.

Partnership on AI wrote in a blog post that Apple would become a founding member. Apple will now work alongside original founding members Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft in a high-profile display of cooperation among companies that can often be heated rivals.

“Diversity of thought across the organization is crucial to ensure that we effectively explore and address the influences of AI on people and society, provide guidance on AI best practices, and seek to advance the public’s understanding of AI,” says the blog post. “We are committed to having balanced representation at the leadership, executive, and operations levels.”

The original members announced the formation of the group last September with the goal of ensuring that AI research doesn’t go completely haywire and wipe out humanity. Or, as they put it, to “address opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society.”

Members of the group have agreed to collaborate to establish best practices and publish their research under an open license. The group said Apple has been working with the other companies from the start but is now making its membership official.

Apple will be represented on the partnership’s board by Tom Gruber, head of advanced development for Siri. Gruber was a cofounder of Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010.

In addition, the partnership announced other members of its first board:

  • Dario Amodei of OpenAi, the Elon Musk-backed research group
  • Subbarao Kambhampati of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
  • Deirdre Mulligan of the University of California at Berkeley
  • Carol Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Eric Sears of the MacArthur Foundation
  • Jason Furman of the Peterson Institute of International Economics

Of the founding members, board members include:

  • Greg Corrado of Google/DeepMind
  • Ralf Herbrich of Amazon
  • Eric Horvitz of Microsoft
  • Yann Lecun of Facebook
  • Francesca Rossi of IBM

The first board meeting is scheduled for February 3 in San Francisco.

 

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