While the introduction of the Siri virtual assistant in 2011 gave Apple an early presence in AI for consumers, it has since lost ground to rivals such as Google and Amazon.
Apple Inc. is set to join the Partnership on AI, an artificial intelligence research group that includes Amazon.com Inc., Google, Facebook Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
Apple’s admission into the group could be announced as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the situation. Representatives at Apple and the Partnership on AI declined to comment.
When the nonprofit organization was announced in September, it anticipated gaining additional members. Apple, Twitter Inc., Intel Corp. and China’s Baidu Inc. were among noticeable absentees at the time.
While the introduction of the Siri virtual assistant in 2011 gave Apple an early presence in AI for consumers, it has since lost ground to rivals such as Google and Amazon. Apple’s penchant for secrecy limited its efforts to improve AI offerings and hire the best talent. That’s because researchers in the field like to publish their findings, something Apple frowned upon in the past. That approach began to change late last year with the hiring of Carnegie Mellon Professor Russ Salakhutdinov and the publishing of its first public AI paper.
Joining the Partnership on AI is the latest sign that Apple is opening up more. The group says it aims to “conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license."