Some of the world's biggest tech companies are teaming up to address the future of artificial intelligence and how it will affect privacy, safety, interoperability and collaboration between people and AI.


Amazon, Google's DeepMind division, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft have founded the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (PAI) to consider how and why AI developments, such as online facial recognition, might be a cause for concern.


“Every new technology brings transformation, and transformation sometimes also causes fear in people who don't understand the transformation. One of the purposes of this group is really to explain and communicate the capabilities of AI, specifically the dangers and the basic ethical questions,” said Yann LeCun, Facebook's director of AI.


LeCun advises that the group will foster communication among those who build AI, bring in additional opinions from academia and civil society and inform the public on the progress of AI. That may include educating lawmakers, but the group says it will not educate the government.


The group is in discussion with existing scientific and non-profit organisations, including the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.


Notably absent from the group is Apple, which has been taking on its own AI efforts and has a long history of going at it alone, and OpenAI, the Elon Musk-backed research lab with aims which seem to complement those of PAI.


“We're in the process of inviting many many different research labs and groups. We encourage there to be a diverse range of effort in AI, and we think that's a great thing,” said Mustafa Suleyman of DeepMind.