Apple has joined the Partnership on AI, a nonprofit research initiative whose members include some of the biggest tech giants in the world. According to the Partnership on AI, “Apple has joined the Partnership on AI as a founding member. The company has been involved and collaborating with the Partnership since before it was first announced and is thrilled to formalize its membership alongside Amazon, Facebook, Google/DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft.”
News of Apple’s alleged admission into the Partnership on AI was first reported Thursday by Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the situation. According to the publication, Cupertino could officially announce its intention to join the organization as soon as this week, which was proven true this morning.
First announced in September of last year, the nonprofit organization was established to “study and formulate best practices, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.” Some of its founders include IBM, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
Apple, one of the biggest researchers in AI technology, was curiously absent from the organization during its inception. Other absentees include Intel, Twitter and the China-based Baidu, Inc. When the Partnership on AI was founded, however, it did anticipate gaining new members down the road, Bloomberg reported.
While Cupertino has long been a pioneer in the field, its history of secrecy has snarled some of its efforts to hire up-and-coming talent and further improve its AI technology. The company has since lost ground to other tech giants such as Google and Amazon. Recently, however, Apple has since shifted course with the announcement that it will allow its researchers to publicly publish their findings. Last month, the company published it first AI research paper.
Becoming a member of the Partnership and publishing research are just two signs that Apple is committed to furthering its own AI technology. In October 2016, Cupertino announced the construction of a new AI-focused research & development center in Yokohama, Japan. When CEO Tim Cook made that announcement, he hinted at ways that AI could benefit the iPhone: from better managing battery life to improving content recommendations, according to DigitalTrends.
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