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Tech Giants’ Partnership To Explore Ethics, Societal Impacts of AI

With public interest in artificial intelligence technologies on the rise, five of the world’s largest corporations—vying against each other in so many spheres—are banding together to support research on the ethical and societal issues raised by machines with increasingly human-like capabilities.

The Partnership on AI, formally unveiled Wednesday, includes Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, Google and its 2014 acquisition DeepMind. Each company is investing untold billions of dollars in developing AI technologies, betting on a future defined by computer systems that can perceive, reason, advise, and decide. (Microsoft, meanwhile, announced a new 5,000-person groupThursday dedicated to the development of AI technologies and products that use them. Harry Shum, an executive vice president in charge of Microsoft’s Technology and Research group, is heading the new unit, called the Microsoft AI and Research Group.)

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