FHI joins leading tech firms in AI safety mission

18 May 2017

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The Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), among the first research groups established by the Oxford Martin School, has joined the Partnership on AI, a non-profit organisation founded by Amazon, Apple, Google/DeepMind, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft, with the goal of formulating socially beneficial best practices for AI development.

The Partnership on AI is organised around a set of thematic pillars, including fair, transparent, and accountable AI, and AI and social good. FHI researchers will contribute to the partnership's work on safety-critical AI, looking at the safety and trustworthiness of AI tools that are used to supplement or replace human decision-making, and their alignment with ethical standpoints and preferences of people who will be affected.

FHI Director, Professor Nick Bostrom, said: "We’re delighted to be joining the Partnership on AI, and to be expanding our industry and non-profit collaborations on AI safety.” FHI has previously worked with groups such as DeepMind on AI safety, co-authoring papers that detail how to ensure reinforcement learning systems do not take steps to avoid or shape human interruption.

Achim Steiner, Director of the Oxford Martin School, said: “With new advances in the development of AI being made at a rapid pace, it is critical that as much importance is placed upon safety and ethical considerations as on technological progress.

“We are delighted that FHI has become a member of the Partnership on AI, bringing the breadth and depth of their research to this vital work.”

FHI joins the partnership alongside the AI Forum of New Zealand (AIFNZ), Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), Centre for Democracy & Tech (CDT), Centre for Internet and Society, India (CIS), Cogitai, Data & Society Research Institute (D&S), Digital Asia Hub, eBay, Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Intel, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), McKinsey & Company, SAP, Salesforce.com, Sony, UNICEF, Upturn, XPRIZE Foundation, and Zalando.