Elon Musk, the South African born entrepreneur, is also the co-founder and chairman of OpenAI (est. 2015), a company working to build safe artificial intelligence and ensure that AI’s benefits are as widely and evenly distributed as possible. This is despite him having been an AI alarmist and naysayer since the talk first began in the worlds upper-most echelons of tech entrepreneurs (namely Google and Facebook engineering teams). But Musk has left the board of the non-profit AI research venture – due to potential conflicts with his ongoing work at Tesla.
The company focuses on long-term research, working on problems that require fundamental advances in AI capabilities. OpenAI publishes at top machine learning conferences, open-sources software tools for accelerating AI research, and releases blog posts to communicate research.
Tesla, which makes electric cars, giant batteries and solar products – also develops its own AI-supported autonomous driving technology. And that’s a serious issue of conflict of interest. They said in a blog post: “As Tesla continues to become more focused on AI, this will eliminate a potential future conflict for Elon.”
OpenAI is all-in on AGI, which stands for artificial general intelligence and, depending on who you ask, it’s either the Holy Grail or Pandora’s Box when it comes to machine learning. Futurists like Ray Kurzweil already believe we’re a decade from real singularity (the moment when machines become more intelligent than humans).
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has taken a rather similar stance as Tesla CEO Elon Musk on artificial intelligence, emphasizing AI dangers in a recent investor communication. According to the Russian-born billionaire, the present day is an era of possibilities, but it is also a time when responsibility has to be practiced, particularly when it comes to emerging technologies.
So far, OpenAI has made notable strides since its founding, with the company attracting some of the AI field’s most brilliant minds, such as Ilya Sutskever, who used to work for the Google Brain Team.
Musk was also passionately engaged in a debate with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over their disagreement on the subject. Among Musk’s concerns regarding AI are the idea that artificial intelligence could become dangerous if it evolves past the point of human intelligence, and that unregulated AI could potentially be used to start global conflicts by “manipulating information.”
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