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Elon Musk Launches OpenAI To Investigate Artificial Intelligence Without The Need To Turn A Profit

Dec 14, 2015 03:33 AM EST | By Jean-Claude Arnobit
OpenAI, Elon Musk, AI research company
Elon Musk and Other Silicon Valley Bigwigs Launch OpenAI, Will Conduct Research on Artifical Intelligence Without the Influence of Financial Returns
(Photo : Mike Windle | Getty Images News)

Elon Musk, together with tech bigwigs Sam Altman, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman and Jessica Livingston have contributed $1 billion in funding to OpenAI, a research company, according to an introductory blog post by the research company.

The goal for the research company is to advance digital intelligence in a way that will benefit humans without the influence of financial returns.

OpenAI said in the post that they believe artificial intelligence (AI) should be the extension of individual human beings' "wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as possible."

The company, being free from financial obligations, can better focus on research that has a positive human impact.

OpenAI adds that they believe it's important to have a leading research institution that can prioritize good outcome over its own self-interest when human-level AI comes into reach.

"It's hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it's equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly," OpenAI said in the blog post.

The company is hoping that they can grow into the kind of research institution that puts the people's benefit above its own interest.

CNET said that the interest of Musk, Altman and Thiel in AI is important because they already have a hand in building the future.

Musk, who is the current CEO of Tesla Motors Inc. and SpaceX, has helped launch Paypal in 1998 while Altman, the president of Y Combinator, has helped launch startups like Airbnb, Dropbox and Twitch.

Thiel, a major investor in Silicon Valley, was the co-founder of Paypal and an early investor in Facebook.

The other two contributors of OpenAI are also big in the tech industry with Hoffman being the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn Corporation and Livingston the founding partner of Y Combinator.

The research of AI, a term used for the ability of a machine, computer or system to exhibit humanlike intelligence, has been dominated by large tech companies such as Google and Facebook.

Ilya Sutskever, one of the world experts in machine learning, is OpenAI's research director and Greg Brockman, formerly the CTO of Stripe, is the company's CTO, according to the blog post.

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