Introduction from the Founding Co-Chairs

Eric Horvitz, Mustafa Suleyman

September 28, 2016

We are at an inflection point in the development and application of AI technologies. The upswing in AI competencies, fueled by data, computation, and advances in algorithms for machine learning, perception, planning, and natural language, promise great value to people and society.

However, with successes come new concerns and challenges based on the effects of those technologies on people’s lives. These concerns include the safety and trustworthiness of AI technologies, the fairness and transparency of systems, and the intentional as well as inadvertent influences of AI on people and society.

On another front, while AI promises new capabilities and efficiencies, the advent of these new technologies has raised understandable questions about potential disruptions to the nature and distribution of jobs. While there is broad agreement that AI advances are poised to generate great wealth, it remains uncertain how that wealth will be shared broadly. We do, however, also believe that there will be great opportunities to harness AI methods to solve important societal challenges.

We designed the Partnership on AI, in part, so that we can invest more attention and effort on harnessing AI to contribute to solutions for some of humanity’s most challenging problems, including making advances in health and wellbeing, transportation, education, and the sciences.

We are excited about the prospect of coming together to collaborate on addressing concerns, rough edges, and rising challenges around AI, as well as to work together to pursue the grand opportunities and possibilities of the long-term dream of mastering the computational science of intelligence.

We see great things ahead for AI, with the potential for these technologies to improve the quality of people’s lives throughout the world.

The activities of the Partnership on AI will be determined by its Partners, but from the outset the hope has been to create a place for open critique and reflection. It is our intention that the Partnership on AI will be collaborative, constructive, and work openly with all. Crucially, the Partnership on AI has been explicitly designed to bring together researchers, academics, businesses, policy makers, and all with an interest in this endeavor, in a structure that ensures balanced governance by diverse stakeholders. We are delighted that you are considering joining us, and look forward to working with you in the years ahead.

— Eric Horvitz and Mustafa Suleyman, Founding Co-Chairs

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