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Amazon and Mastercard Join US Artificial Intelligence Safety Initiative 

AI, artificial intelligence

Editor’s note: This story has been updated:

Amazon and Mastercard are among dozens of members of a new government artificial intelligence (AI) safety initiative.

The tech giant and the payments company announced Thursday (Feb. 8) that they are part of the newly formed U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC).

The consortium, created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is designed to fuel collaboration between industry and government to promote safe AI use.

“To unlock AI’s full potential, we need to ensure there is trust in the technology,” Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said in a news release. “That starts with a common set of meaningful standards that protects users and sparks inclusive innovation. The public-private partnership enabled by AISIC will be critical in helping to achieve this goal and reinforce responsible AI.”

“Amazon is collaborating with NIST in the Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute Consortium to establish a new measurement science that will enable the identification of proven, scalable, and interoperable measurements and methodologies to promote development of trustworthy AI and its responsible use,” the company said in a separate announcement.

The release adds that NIST does not evaluate commercial products under this consortium and does not endorse any product or service used.

Amazon and Mastercards are part of a group of more than 200 members of AISIC, a group that includes tech giants like Meta, Google and Microsoft, schools like Princeton and Georgia Tech, and various research groups.

According to the release, Amazon will also contribute $5 million in computer credits to the Institute to foster the development of tools and methodologies that organizations can use to examine the safety of their foundation models.

“We are especially interested in developing evaluation methodologies for very large parameter models and improving pre-deployment testing by focusing on domain specific risks,” the release said. “Along with important ISO standards and the contributions of other AI institutes, this work will continue to set an interoperable and trusted foundation for the development and deployment of responsible AI.”

AISIC, announced last year by Vice President Kamala Harris during the Global Summit on AI Safety in the U.K., stems from the executive order on AI signed by President Joe Biden in October of 2023.

Amazon’s announcement comes a week after the company discussed its AI focus during its full-year earnings call.

Last year saw the company announce a slew of AI initiatives, including a new Automated Vehicle Inspection technology, a generative AI shopping assistant known as Rufus, as well as new AI-generated advertising solutions.

CEO Andy Jassy appeared to be looking at AI as a way to enhance the customer experience while driving revenue, predicting that the company would eventually make billions from its generative AI offerings.

“Gen AI is and will continue to be an area of pervasive focus and investment across Amazon primarily because there are few initiatives that give us the chance to reinvent so many of our customer experiences and processes,” he said. “And we believe it’ll ultimately drive tens of billions of dollars of revenue for Amazon over the next several years.”