Apple’s commitment to the artificial intelligence community is even stronger now that it’s officially a founding member of the Partnership on AI. The organization was created to help shape the future of artificial intelligence technology in an open way.
Tom Gruber is Apple’s representative on the organization’s Board of Trustees. He co-founded Siri in 2007 and launched the company’s voice-controlled interface. The company was bought in 2010 by Apple and Siri is now part of both iOS and macOS.
Mr. Gruber’s involvement in artificial intelligence goes back years. zAfter receiving his M.S. in Computer and Information Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst he served as a Research Associate, and later as Senior Project Leader for Enterprise Integration Technology, at the Knowledge Systems Laboratory of the Computer Science Department at Stanford University.
Along with Mr. Gruber, Greg Corrado from Google/DeepMind, Ralf Herbrich from Amazon, Eric Horvitz from Microsoft, Yann Lecun from Facebook, and Francesca Rossi from IBM joined the Board of Trustees. The Board also includes independent non-corporate trustees from OpenAI, the American Civil Liberties Union, UC Berkley, the MacArthur Foundation, the Peterson Institute of International Economics, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence & ASU.
Apple Opens up About Artificial Intelligence
Apple recently changed its closed door policy on sharing AI-related research and has already let its engineers publish their first paper. In that paper, Apple described a way to enhance object recognition for computer systems learning facial details and other objects.
For Apple, more open involvement in the AI community could prove to be a big benefit for its own Siri technology. Apple is seen as falling behind in AI and voice control thanks to Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.
Both are powerful and compelling voice interfaces, but they still require humans to learn how to the right words and phrases instead of letting the computer adapt and learn what we mean. Current voice control systems also lack a deep understanding of context, which makes them more difficult to interact with in a natural way.
The Partnership on AI will look at those shortcomings as well as the social and personal implications of deeper computer understanding. The organization’s first meeting is set for Friday, February 3rd in San Francisco. We’ll know more about their path, as well as how other people can get involved, soon after.