December 7, 2023
IBM and Meta Platforms have launched the AI Alliance, a coalition of companies and educational institutions committed to responsible, transparent development of artificial intelligence. The group launched this week with more than 50 global founding participants from industry, startup, academia, research and government. Among the members and collaborators: AMD, CERN, Cerebras, Cornell University, Dell Technologies, Hugging Face, Intel, Linux Foundation, NASA, Oracle, Red Hat, Sony Group, Stability AI, the University of Tokyo and Yale Engineering. The group’s stated purpose is “to support open innovation and open science in AI.”
“It is time for a more nuanced and a richer discussion around AI,” IBM Research VP Sriram Raghavan told VentureBeat, which writes he “insisted that the timing of the announcement — coming so soon after the drama at OpenAI and as the EU AI Act is in final negotiations — is coincidental.”
Discussions about the group’s launch began over the summer, Raghavan says, and was specifically geared to “address a shift over the past year to more closed, proprietary AI development as well as debates about AI risk that may stifle innovation,” VentureBeat writes.
The AI Alliance says in a news release that it “is focused on fostering an open community and enabling developers and researchers to accelerate responsible innovation in AI while ensuring scientific rigor, trust, safety, security, diversity and economic competitiveness.”
It will do this by bringing together industry thought leaders and developers to “pool resources and knowledge to address safety concerns while providing a platform for sharing and developing solutions that fit the needs of researchers, developers, and adopters around the world.”
Key to the six areas of AI Alliance emphasis — explained more fully online at the Alliance site and by VentureBeat — are:
- Developing and deploying benchmarks and evaluation standards
- Responsible advancement of an open ecosystem of diverse foundation models
- A vibrant AI hardware accelerator system
- Support for global AI skills building research
- Educational content that informs the public discourse and that of policymakers
- Events and initiatives that encourage the safe and open development of AI
The Wall Street Journal marked the launch of the AI Alliance by summarizing how “one year after the debut of ChatGPT, companies including AMD and ServiceNow are teaming up with academia to promote ‘open’ alternatives to OpenAI.” A list of founding members finds OpenAI and principal backer Microsoft conspicuously absent.
Citing industry dissatisfaction over the fact that “generative AI has overtaken the technology narrative since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT” and a propensity for “developing advanced AI models built as closed, or proprietary, systems that are managed by their creators and require companies to pay for their use,” the AI Alliance members would like to further contextualize the debate, according to WSJ.