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Google, Facebook, Amazon team up to stop AI destroying us all

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Tech's major players have teamed up to create the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, designed to help shape the future of AI.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft will work in collaboration, alongside external experts, to help shape the ethical rules that will govern AI development.

The partnership will consider numerous issues including privacy, safety, and the interaction between AI and people.

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DeepMind

Google's DeepMind is part of the new partnership

Concerns over the development of AI have been raised in recent years, with some eminent figures such as Elon Musk warning that creating advanced, or 'general' artificial intelligence could have serious consequences.

There have also been concerns over how artificial intelligence development is concentrated in the hands of a few powerful technology companies.

The new partnership is designed to address these concerns by providing more transparency, with a board made up of corporate and non-corporate interests governing the group.

However, it seems Apple is not included in the new arrangement, but is reportedly in discussions with the group and may join in the future.

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A statement from the group, posted on Google's DeepMind site, characterises the new partnership as "a forum for open discussion around the benefits and challenges of developing and applying cutting edge AI."

The statement also says: "It’s precisely because AI has the potential to have such a major positive impact on the world, that we believe it’s critical that we build new models of open collaboration and accountability around it."

An official site for the project lists the tenets which will govern how the partnership functions. These include: "We will seek to ensure that AI technologies benefit and empower as many people as possible", and "We are committed to open research and dialog on the ethical, social, economic, and legal implications of AI."

AI is set to become an increasingly important issue. Virtual assistants are becoming more prevalent, with Google introducing its new Google Assistant and Amazon producing its smart speaker with the Alexa assistant.

Elon Musk recently started his own non-profit AI group, OpenAI, and earlier this year Google DeepMind's AI beat the world Go champion in a first for artificial intelligence development.

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Let us know what you think of the new partnership in the comments.

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