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£ 280.765 Million

Apple to Join Tech Giants in the Partnership on AI

Apple is tipped to be finally joining the Partnership on AI— a club of tech giants researching artificial intelligence, launched in September 2016 by Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft, and IBM.

The group’s stated goals are “to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.”

The Cupertino-based company  had initially declined to get involved with the group—besides other heavyweights such as Baidu, Intel and Twitter.

But according to Bloomberg, sources familiar with the matter believe that an announcement on Apple’s membership could be issued this week. So far, the information has not been confirmed by either Apple or the Partnership on AI.

The news arrives just weeks after Apple published its first scientific study on AI in late December, and follows senior Apple figures’ pledges to make the company more open about its artificial intelligence research.

Although it is the creator of the most famous AI-powered assistant —Siri— Apple had long refrained from making its research on artificial intelligence available to the public. Indeed, its initial refusal to join the Partnership was likely influenced by its secretiveness: members of the group have to commit themselves to “publish research under an open license.”

This tight-lipped attitude is thought to have scared off many top-level AI researchers, keen on making their study known to the wider academic community.

As a consequence, Apple had of late started to lose its AI edge to less cagey players like Amazon and Alphabet. This could change now as the company helmed by Tim Cook embraces openness.

Image via bit.ly/2jVlwFV

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