Artificial Intelligence

Apple to Join Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google in Artificial Intelligence Research Alliance

Apple may be the latest company to join the Partnership for AI, a consortium that was established to develop best practices for artificial intelligence (AI), reported Bloomberg News and various other news organizations. The alliance already includes Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Deepmind.

The Partnership for AI was founded late 2016 with the goal of advancing public understanding and awareness of AI and its potential benefits across industries, including education. Joining the consortium provides a structured platform for AI researchers and key stakeholders to communicate directly and openly, according to the organization’s website.

Last October, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report titled “Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence,” which named education as one of the major sectors to be impacted by artificial intelligence research. “An AI-enabled world demands a data-literate citizenry that is able to read, use, interpret and communicate about data, and participate in policy debates about matters affected by AI,” according to the White House report. “AI knowledge and education are increasingly emphasized in federal [STEM] education programs. AI education is also a component of Computer Science for All, [former President Barack Obama’s] initiative to empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need in a technology-driven world.”

Apple had a relatively early start in AI with the introduction of its virtual assistant Siri in 2011. Bloomberg News noted, however, that Apple lost its edge in AI when other tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft released their own versions – Alexa and Cortana. Additionally, IBM's Watson and Facebook's FAIR have been sharing massive data sets to develop their own AI platforms, which may have motivated the notoriously private Apple to join the AI conversation.  

Apple has not yet issued an official comment, but THE Journal will provide updates on the impending announcement –– expected to be made this week or next week.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].