Altruistic AI attracts $1bn

OpenAI, the non-profit venture developing artificial intelligence (AI) ‘to benefit humanity’, has been pledged $1bn by leading tech executives. Backers include the visionary Elon Musk; CEO of Tesla Motors, and Space X, Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, as well as Amazon Wed Services, and Infosys.

While prominent scientists have warned of the dangers of AI, Open AI has announced that its research will focus on having a “positive human impact”. Indeed, last year, British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warned AI may be able to “re-design itself at an ever increasing rate” – eventually superseding humans.

AI is humanity’s “biggest existential threat” to date, agrees Elon Musk. A view the entrepreneur shared in a recent talk to students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Some experts, however, agree the risk is still minimal.

“[our goal is] to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return”, expresses OpenAI, communicating on its website. “[AI] should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as is possible safely”.

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