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Apple officially named as founding member of Partnership for AI, Siri founder named to board

As expected, Apple has been formally inducted into the Partnership on AI as a founding member, naming Siri-founder and Apple exec Tom Gruber to the board of trustees for the group.




Announcing the addition of Apple, the organization noted that the company has been "involved and collaborating" with the partnership before it was ever announced. Apple joins Amazon, Facebook, Google/DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft as corporate members of the group.

The first meeting of the newly formed Board of Trustees is taking place on Feb. 3 in San Francisco. The board will name an executive steering committee, and an executive director at some point.

Officially titled the "Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society," the group's stated goals are to pool resources and develop interoperability for the future of AI technology. At this time, the group has declared that it does not intend to become a governmental lobbyist group.

To meet its goals, the organization anticipates it will "host discussions, commission studies, write and distribute reports on critical topics, and seek to develop and share best practices and standards for industry." Additionally, the group states that it will "conduct outreach with the public and across the industry on topics related to advancing better understanding of AI systems and the potential applications and implications of this technology as they arise."

"This group is a huge step forward, breaking down barriers for AI teams to share best practices, research ways to maximize societal benefits and tackle ethical concerns, and make it easier for those in other fields to engage with everyone's work." said Google's Greg Corrado and the initiative's other chairman Mustafa Suleyman from Google-owned DeepMind in a joint statement when the group was founded in Sept. 2016. "We're really proud of how this has come together, and we're looking forward to working with everyone inside and outside the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to make sure AI has the broad and transformative impact we all want to see."

Apple's Tom Gruber studied psychology and computer science at Loyola University New Orleans, and recieved a M.S. in Computer and Information Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.

Following the M.S, he obtained a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science in 1988, also at the University of Massachusetts. He co-founded the original parent company of Siri, and was brought on by Apple when the company acquired the company in 2010.