Tech Giants To Advance Open AI Research

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 14, 2015


Some of the biggest names in IT such as Vishal Sikka, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, among others have joined force to unlock the values of artificial intelligence to businesses. The leaders have committed a $1 billion investment to OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company.

In its blogpost, OpenAI said its 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. Since our research is free from financial obligations, we can better focus on a positive human impact”. 

“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,” says Greg Brockman CTO, OpenAI, in the blog.

Musk told The New York Times the company’s goal is to create an “artificial general intelligence”, a machine capable of performing any intellectual task that a human being can. But he also has long-standing concerns AI could turn against humans, and says OpenAI is an effort to guide the technology responsibly into the future.

 The not-for-profit says it will be free to focus on creating this positive impact because it won’t have to generate a financial return as well as make its research public.

“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,” the blog says, adding that “We’ll freely collaborate with others across many institutions and expect to work with companies to research and deploy new technologies.”

OpenAI’s research director is Ilya Sutskever, one of the world experts in machine learning. Our CTO is Greg Brockman, formerly the CTO of Stripe. The group’s other founding members are world-class research engineers and scientists: 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 are advisors to the group. OpenAI’s co-chairs are Sam Altman and Elon Musk.

Sam, Greg, Elon, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys, and YC Research are donating to support OpenAI. In total, these funders have committed $1 billion, although we expect to only spend a tiny fraction of this in the next few years.

OpenAI is the second billion-dollar investment in artificial intelligence this year after Toyota announced it would establish a laboratory dedicated to AI research.