Apple confirms reports that it joined the Partnership on AI as a founding member, an industry organisation formed by Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft.
The organisation bears the somewhat Soviet-sounding name of "Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society." It brings together academics, non-profits and specialists in policy and ethics to "conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics, fairness and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability and robustness of the technology.”
The absence of Apple back when the Partnership on AI was first announced on September 2016 was notable but not surprising-- after all, the iPhone maker is infamous for its secrecy. But the company needs to be more open if it wants to attract top talent in the field, especially since it already owns specialists such as Turi, VocalIQ, Perceptio and Emotient as part of an in-house AI team led by Carnegie Mellon professor Russ Salakhutdinov.
What would Apple do with artificial intelligence? Improve on Siri, of course, since an enhanced version of the virtual assistant will be finding a home in next generation iPhones.