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"Once the machine thinking method has started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers," Alan Turing said in 1951 at a talk entitled "Intelligent Machinery: A heretical theory," presented at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. "At some stage therefore we should have to expect the machines to take control." Little did he know that this statement would haunt humans for years to come.
Every five to six years, artificial intelligence undergoes a revival. Given that this time is AI’s third or fourth coming, we wait to see if it surpasses where it lacks every time – acceptance.
The debate of machines taking over humans seems to be reaching no end. The discourse re-kindles every time again when renowned scientists like Stephen Hawking voice caution saying, "Computers are likely to overtake humans in intelligence at some point in the next 100 years. But we also the big boys of tech industry like Elon Musk and Sam Atman how beneficial this technology could be for the human species as a whole. All we need to do is understand it.
Am attempt towards this understanding is being taken by the giants in tech industry who are forming an alliance to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field. Named the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI), the non-profit organization will be lead by Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft.
AI technologies hold tremendous potential to improve many aspects of life, ranging from healthcare, education, and manufacturing to home automation and transportation. Having an understanding of the same, these big firms want to give AI a new approach which they would bring through rigorous research, the development of best practices, and an open and transparent dialogue.
The current members of the non-profit organisation include Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research group head Yann LeCun, Google’s DeepMind co-founder and head of applied AI Mustafa Suleyman, Google Research senior scientist Greg Corrado, Microsoft technical fellow Eric Horvitz, Amazon director of machine learning Ralf Herbrich, and IBM research scientist Francesca Rossi.
What will PAI do?
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.
The organization’s founding members will each contribute financial and research resources to the partnership and will share leadership with independent third-parties, including academics, user group advocates, and industry domain experts. 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.