The team at Future of Life Institute have announced this week that Elon Musk has donated a cool $10 million dollars to help run a global research program “aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity.” This program will be carried out globally through an open grants competition in which funds will go toward AI researchers and AI research involving other fields including policy, law, and ethics, amongst others. “This will provide the impetus to jump-start research on AI safety,” said Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence president Tom Dietterich.
Dietterich continued, “this addresses several fundamental questions in AI research that deserve much more funding than even this donation will provide.” Below you’ll find a brief video of Elon Musk and Dietterich speaking on Artificial Intelligence safety.
Potential researchers aiming for the grant will want to head to futureoflife.org in the near future. This competition for grant cash will open by Monday, January 19th – and potentially before.
In addition to the research grands this competition will provide, this program will include meetings and outreach programs that’ll bring together industry AI developers, AI researchers, and more to “explore how to maximize the societal benefits of AI.”
Musk previously suggested that Artificial Intelligence was “summoning the demon”, and that research on safety was a must.
Skype-founder Jaan Tallinn, one of Future of Life’s founders, suggested the reason for this research, saying, “Building advanced AI is like launching a rocket. The first challenge is to maximize acceleration, but once it starts picking up speed, you also need to to focus on steering.”
This donation is effectively the oil that keeps the steering wheel safely moving as we continue to steer this rocket into the future.