Microsoft plans to address the ethical issues of AI with new partnership

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft is one of the co-founders of Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, a new non-profit group that plans to help promote the use of AI products to the public. It will also address and form guidelines that may serve to solve some of the ethical questions in using AI.

Some of the other founding members of the group include Facebook, Google, IBM, Amazon and DeepMind, a AI company that Google acquired in 2014. In a press release, the Partnership on AI group explains what it plans to 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.

Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow & Managing Director, Microsoft Research, is serving as the interim co-chair of the group. He stated:

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 ethics, privacy, transparency, bias, inclusiveness, and safety.

Microsoft, and its CEO Satya Nadella, have been promoting the use of AI in the past year, including the development of chatbots for Skype and the use of its Cortana digital assistant.

John Callaham