Apple Formally Announced as 'Partnership on AI' Founding Member

Posted January 29, 2017

The founding members of the organisation are contributing financial and research resources to the partnership.

But while Apple has been an early mover in artificial intelligence, it may be starting to feel pressure from competitors as more tech companies have jumped into the pool. The alliance already includes Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Deepmind.

They will join Greg Corrado of Google/DeepMind, Tom Gruber of Apple, Ralf Herbrich of Amazon, Eric Horvitz of Microsoft, Yann Lecun of Facebook, and Francesca Rossi of IBM. You can find the full board of trustees on the partnership's website.

Exactly what's on the research agenda won't be known until after this first meeting, but the group will also announce how other individuals and organisations can get involved. Apple has become a major player in AI technology in recent years with the development of Siri, its natural language personal assistant.

It seems likely that Apple is beefing up its involvement in the forward march of AI to benefit the iPhone.

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The stated goals of the partnership are to support best practices for, advance understanding of, and create an open platform for discussion about artificial intelligence.

"I know they're enthusiastic about this effort, and I'd hope to see them join", he said. Until recently, Apple researchers working on AI were even discouraged from publishing their findings.

"Apple provided input into the organization's [memorandum of understanding] and the organization's tenets", she told TechNewsWorld.

This is mainly due to the booming success of the various AI projects, that the company has released, the most popular of which is the company's very own Virtual Assistant, Siri, who first came to be in 2011, on Apple devices, and has been a success since that release date. Representatives at Apple and the Partnership on AI declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey.