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Elon Musk, Peter Thiel And Many Other Tech Stalwarts Come Together For Non-Profit AI Research Company ‘OpenAI’

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Sam Altman, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman- when names like these appear on a common platform, there is bound to be a curiosity. And rightly so, these stalwarts in addition to many more of their kind have joined hands to back a non-profit Artificial Intelligence (AI) research company called OpenAI.

OpenAI is the newly formed company focussed on non-profit research in Artificial Intelligence to benefit humanity. OpenAI aims “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.”

The company was recently unveiled and an introductory announcement was made through a post by Greg Brockman (CTO),  Ilya Sutskever (Director) and the whole OpenAI team.

As a non-profit, our aim is to build value for everyone rather than shareholders. Researchers will be strongly encouraged to publish their work, whether as papers, blog posts, or code, and our patents (if any) will be shared with the world.

wrote the team in the post.

Other prominent names who are on the board as advisors or investors include Trevor Blackwell, Vicki Cheung, Andrej Karpathy, Durk Kingma, John Schulman, Pamela Vagata, and Wojciech Zaremba. Pieter Abbeel, Yoshua Bengio, Alan Kay, Sergey Levine, and Vishal Sikka from Infosys will be advisors to the group. In addition to these, Y Combinator’s Sam Altman and Tesla CEO Elon Musk will act as co-chairs in OpenAI.

The company has raised $1 million in funding from Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Elon Musk, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys, and YC Research.

There has been a consistent debate happening in the recent times over the potential positive and negative impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the society. Although the extremes of this debate revolving around the science fiction or Terminator-like stuff is still many years away but many thought-provoking arguments have been put forward by people regarding AI challenges and bad effects.

These arguments revolve around the challenges of job elimination on a large scale as a result of massive automation and also the potential bad effects of AI-based programs which can hack into computers

Two of the biggest names on OpenAI, Sam Altman and Elon Musk recently voiced their opinion in a recent interview about their objective behind a non-profit AI research company like OpenAI.

Musk, who in fact has been a renowned critic of AI himself, said, 

I’ve had many conversations with Sam and with Reid [Hoffman], Peter Thiel, and others. And we were just thinking, “Is there some way to insure, or increase, the probability that AI would develop in a beneficial way?” And as a result of a number of conversations, we came to the conclusion that having a 501c3, a non-profit, with no obligation to maximize profitability, would probably be a good thing to do.

Both Musk and Altman agreed upon a common objective and goal to develop artificial intelligence in a way to prevent the misuse of AI by empowering as many individuals as possible with AI.

We think the best way AI can develop is if it’s about individual empowerment and making humans better, and made freely available to everyone, not a single entity that is a million times more powerful than any human.

said Sam Altman.

FEATURED IMAGE : Gerd Leonhard // FLICKR // CC 2.0

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