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AI group gets bigger as Sony, Intel, eBay and others join

Host of big names join the Partnership on AI to research best practices in the field of artificial intelligence.

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Resistance is futile.

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The AI club just got bigger.

The Partnership on AI, a nonprofit group researching the uses of artificial intelligence, said Tuesday it's welcoming 22 new members. Eight of the new members are for-profit companies, including Intel, eBay, Sony and Salesforce. Nonprofits, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and UNICEF, make up the balance.

The new partners expand a group that already counts heavyweights in computing as members. Microsoft, Google and IBM are long-standing participants in the group. ("Long standing" is relative; the partnership was announced in September.) Even secretive Apple decided to be part of the club.

The growth of the PAI comes as the group takes on new initiatives.

PAI said it will create working groups to research and define best practices for specific topics and sectors within the field. It's also creating a fellowship to assist nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations looking to participate in AI issues.

PAI is also establishing an award for best paper on the topic of "AI, People, and Society" and a series of AI Grand Challenges.