Five of the world’s largest technology companies have come together to create a historic collaboration. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon have formed a collaboration that will be referred to as “Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society”. The new group’s key aim is to help promote the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) products to the public. It will also look to address and form guidelines that may serve to solve some of the ethical questions in using AI.
These companies combined hold the largest databases of raw data that is freely availed by users that use their different services. The value of all these enormous amount of data is realised once it is subjected to Artificial Intelligence. These companies know that and that is why they are investing heavily on their AI programs.
“We’re excited about this historic collaboration on AI and its influences on people and society. We see great value ahead with harnessing AI advances in numerous areas, including health, education, transportation, public welfare, and personal empowerment We’re extremely pleased with how early discussions among colleagues blossomed into a promising long-term collaboration. Beyond folks in industry. We’re thrilled to have other stakeholders at the table including colleagues in ethics, law, policy, and the public at large. We look forward to working arm-in-arm on best practices and on such important topics as etics, privacy, transparencxy, bias, inclusiveness, and safety.”
– Eric Horvitz, interim co-chair of the group
All the five companies in this collaboration have their own huge AI projects. Facebook depends on artificial intelligence for many of its features, including face recognition and its News Feed. Google has Deepmind while Microsoft has the digital assistant Cortana and chatbot projects for Skype. IBM has Watson and finally Amazon has Alexa, the voice assistant that is loaded onto its Echo speakers.
Some of the notable big names in the partnership include Apple and Intel. Another interesting name is Elon Musk’s Open AI, a non-profit AI research project that promises to make its results available to all. Elon Musk is the gentleman with a vision of flying people to Mars under the SpaceX program, though he has clearly said the journey is not guaranteed to be successful. Individuals who are ready to accept the outcome of the journey whether positive or negative and can afford the trip to Mars, $200,000 (approximately Ksh.20,000,000) can sign up.
Interesting Kenya is among six countries selected by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to pilot Big Data for development.