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Apple to become a member of AI research group

Apple to become a member of AI research group

Apple will reportedly join the Partnership on AI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research organization with a membership that includes Amazon.com Inc., DeepMind, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, IBM, Facebook Inc., and Microsoft Corp,
according to a Bloomberg article citing individuals familiar with the situation.

An announcement of Apple’s admission into Partnership on AI could happen as early as this week, although representatives at Apple and the Partnership on AI have declined to comment.

The organization launched in September with a handful of members. At the time, many were surprised to see AI-savvy companies like Apple, Twitter Inc., Intel Corp. and China’s Baidu Inc. absent from the membership.

Apple is an early adopter of AI, having launched Siri virtual assistant within its iPhone line back in 2011. However, the company’s AI feature has since been overshadowed by offerings from top competitors like Google and Amazon.

Apple has been traditionally tight-lipped about its ongoing R&D efforts, however, last year’s hiring of Carnegie Mellon Professor Russ Salakhutdinov, and the recent publishing its first public AI paper, signals Apple’s willingness to open up more.

On its website, the organization says its goals are to support research and recommend best practices, advance public understanding and awareness of AI and its potential benefits and potential costs, and provide a regular, structured platform for AI researchers and key stakeholders to communicate directly and openly with each other about relevant issues.

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