Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft have started an AI charm offensive, and as Nassim Taleb said – charm is an inoffensive way of inflicting harm. So let’s be brutal about AI for just a sentence or two. AI will destroy many peoples’ jobs and the net result will be even more asymmetry in wealth distribution – so a charm offensive is needed. The soothing words include ‘specialists in policy and ethics’ and no doubt these people will produce their findings, and they will be roundly ignored if there is any hint of affecting profitability. It doesn’t matter what kind of gloss the spin doctors try to put on AI, the net result will be negative for many people.
Here is the press release:
Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft announced they will create a non-profit organization that will work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field. Academics, non-profits, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the Board of the organization, named the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI).
The objective of the Partnership on AI is to address opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society. Together, the organization’s members will 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. It does not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies.
There will be equal representation of corporate and non-corporate members on the board of this new organization. The Partnership is in discussions with professional and scientific organizations, such as the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), as well as non-profit research groups including the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), and anticipates announcements regarding additional participants in the near future.
AI technologies hold tremendous potential to improve many aspects of life, ranging from healthcare, education, and manufacturing to home automation and transportation. Through rigorous research, the development of best practices, and an open and transparent dialogue, the founding members of the Partnership on AI hope to maximize this potential and ensure it benefits as many people as possible.
For more information, visit www.partnershiponai.org.