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Tech companies pledge to use artificial intelligence responsibly

Swayne B. Hall / AP

The Information Technology Industry Council — a DC-based group representing the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple— is today releasing principles for developing ethical artificial intelligence systems.

Why it matters: The tech industry is trying to get ahead of growing anxieties about the societal impact of AI technologies, and this is an acknowledgement on companies' part that their data-hungry products are causing sweeping changes in the way we work and live. The companies hope that pledging to handle this power responsibly will win points with critics in Washington, and that showing they can police themselves will help stave off government regulation on this front.