Apple and the Partnership for AI: It's official!

Apple has officially joined the Partnership for AI as a founding member:

Apple has joined the Partnership on AI as a founding member. The company has been involved and collaborating with the Partnership since before it was first announced and is thrilled to formalize its membership alongside Amazon, Facebook, Google/DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft.

Tom Gruber, who heads advanced development of Siri at Apple, serves as a trustee on the board. Here's his statement:

We're glad to see the industry engaging on some of the larger opportunities and concerns created with the advance of machine learning and AI. We believe it's beneficial to Apple, our customers, and the industry to play an active role in its development and look forward to collaborating with the group to help drive discussion on how to advance AI while protecting the privacy and security of consumers.

When it shipped on iPhone 4s in 2011, Siri became the world's first large-scale, voice-powered, commercially available virtual assistant. Since then, Siri has expanded to iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac, and to services like HomeKit and CarPlay. It's also now available in 30 countries and in around 20 languages, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Malay, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Everyone is solving for assistants differently right now. Apple's focus on consumers across multiple device types and regions, from silicon to server to interaction model gives them unique insight into how the technology works and where it's going.

The Partnership for AI gives Apple, as well as other companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and IBM, academics and advocates in the fields of economics, computer sciences, law and security, civil rights, and civil liberties, a forum to come together, share knowledge and research, and advance the field in a way that will benefit society.

It's a noble mission, so I'll refrain from any and all Skynet jokes. I'm eager to see what they separately and collectively accomplish.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.