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Apple joins AI research group

The famously secretive company joins competitors in a consortium that's researching the uses of artificial intelligence.

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Siri, meet Alexa.

Apple has joined the Partnership on AI, a nonprofit group researching the uses of artificial intelligence, the group said on Friday.

The Partnership's members are a Who's Who of tech heavyweights that includes Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. It also includes IBM, the creator of the Watson supercomputer system that won the TV game show "Jeopardy!"

"Apple has joined the Partnership on AI as a founding member," the group said in a post. "The company has been involved and collaborating with the Partnership since before it was first announced and is thrilled to formalize its membership."

The Partnership's mission is "to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public's understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society."

Joining the Partnership is the latest indication Apple is becoming less secretive. In December, the company published its first paper on AI, a sign it was ready to start sharing some of its research.

Bloomberg News reported late Wednesday that Apple would likely join the Partnership.

First published Jan. 26, 11:05 a.m. PT.

Update, Jan. 27 at 2:37 p.m. PT: Adds confirmation of membership.

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