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IBM and Meta co-launch AI Alliance for responsible AI development

Written by Wed 13 Dec 2023

Meta and IBM have launched an AI Alliance to advance innovation and open science in artificial intelligence (AI).

The AI Alliance comprises 50 leading organisations across industry, startup, academia, research, and government. Members of the Alliance include AMD, CERN, Dell Technologies, Intel, Oracle, NASA, Sony and more.

The Alliance is dedicated to fostering an open community to assist developers and researchers in accelerating responsible AI innovation.

Chairman and CEO of IBM, Arvind Krishna, said the creation of the AI Alliance was a pivotal moment in defining the future of AI.

“The progress we continue to witness in AI is a testament to open innovation and collaboration across communities of creators, scientists, academics and business leaders,” said Krishna.

The Alliance said this commitment is upheld by ensuring scientific rigour, trust, safety, security, diversity, and economic competitiveness.

By uniting leading developers, scientists, academic institutions, companies, and innovators, the Alliance aims to combine resources and knowledge to address safety concerns.

President for Global Affairs at Meta, Nick Clegg, advocated for the open development of AI, emphasising the advantages of accessibility.

“The AI Alliance brings together researchers, developers, and companies to share tools and knowledge that can help us all make progress,” added Clegg.

Vice President for Research Innovation at Cornell University, Krystyn J Van Vliet, agreed with this sentiment.

“Open innovation has spurred incredible advances in many fields, including AI, and thrives on experimentation and dialogue,” said Van Vliet.

The shared goal is to establish a platform for sharing and developing solutions that cater to the needs of researchers, developers, and adopters globally.

“The history of our industry highlights how open, standards-based development leveraging the capabilities of the entire industry both accelerates innovation and ensures technology advances have the largest positive impact,” said Lisa Su, CEO and Chair of AMD.

AI Alliance Initiatives

To achieve the Alliance objectives, several initiatives will be implemented. These include creating benchmarks for responsible AI development, advancing an ecosystem of open foundation models, and building AI skills.

Responsible AI and Security Tools

The Alliance will promote global AI system development by creating benchmarks, evaluation standards, and tools for responsible AI development globally.

“Innovations in AI offer …  the promise of serving the common good and the threat of undermining it. It is critical that we engage serious ethical questions about AI alongside the technological,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, President at the University of Notre Dame.

The collaboration will also establish a catalogue of vetted safety, security, and trust tools and advocate for their use within the developer community.

“Open innovation is all but essential to ensuring equitable access and collaboration around AI and root this technology in principles that adhere to the strongest standards of diversity, trust, and ingenuity,” said Kevin Murphy, Chief Science Data Officer at NASA.

Open Foundation Model Ecosystem Advancement

The Alliance said it will responsibly advance the ecosystem of open foundation models. This includes highly capable multilingual, multi-modal, and science models aimed at addressing broad societal challenges like those present in climate and education.

“With open source, the entire community comes together to collaborate on solving the toughest problems, the most effective solutions rise to the top, and everyone benefits,” said Jeremy Howard, founding Researcher at Fast.ai.

The partnership will also promote the growth of an ecosystem centred around AI hardware accelerators.

Skills and Research for Safe AI

The Alliance will support global AI skills building and exploratory research. The partnership will engage the academic community to support researchers and students in learning and contributing to essential AI model and tool research projects.

“Engineers, data scientists, ethicists, and other researchers will be able to collaborate to build that ecosystem, joining both with AI labs around the world and with the industry partners who get new technologies into the hands of users,” said Jeffrey F. Rhoads, Vice President for Research and Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

Rhoads added this will bring an unprecedented opportunity to Notre Dame’s faculty and students as they help steer innovations that benefit society.

The Alliance will also develop educational content and resources to inform the public discourse and policymakers on the benefits, risks, solutions, and regulation of AI.

“AI capabilities are now constantly growing and improving, and it is critical that organisations from diverse fields come together to help advance AI discoveries and technologies while also addressing concerns around security and safety,” said Tom Mihaljevic, MD, President and CEO at the Cleveland Clinic.

The Alliance will initiate efforts to promote open AI development in safe and beneficial manners. This involves organising events to explore AI use cases and demonstrating how Alliance members responsibly leverage open AI.

AI Alliance Members Promote Collaboration

The Alliance stressed that enhanced information sharing and collaboration will speed up inclusive AI innovation. This will allow the community to identify and address specific risks before product market introduction.

President and CEO of Red Hat, Matt Hicks, said that collaboration and open innovation have always been true catalysts for progress.

“The launch of the AI Alliance marks a visionary milestone, uniting industry giants, academia, and innovators with a shared responsibility to shape the future and advance open innovation, ensuring that the transformative power of AI is harnessed responsibly and ethically,” said Hicks.

CEO and Founder of Roadzen, Rohan Malhotra, said the AI Alliance’s focus on fostering an open and diverse ecosystem is a pivotal step in advancing AI globally.

“It is a striking contrast to the idea of AI being tightly controlled by a few entities,” added Malhotra.

President and Chief Operating Officer of ServiceNow, CJ Desai, agreed with this sentiment. He stressed there is no room for a winner-take-all approach.

“The development of responsible, secure LLMs comes in many forms. By joining this alliance, ServiceNow is doubling down on open innovation, harnessing the collective talent and expertise across the global open-source community,” said Desai.

The announcement of AI Alliance arrived as EU policymakers provisionally agreed on regulations for the AI Act to ensure the safe deployment of AI.

Last month, the UK published the first global guidelines to ensure the safe development of AI technology. The Guidelines covered four areas, with suggested behaviours for enhanced security: secure design, development, deployment, and operation.

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Written by Wed 13 Dec 2023

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