OpenAI nonprofit seeks to improve humanity with artificial intelligence

A new nonprofit research center called OpenAI has been announced, and it aims to improve humanity through the advent of artificial intelligence. Despite his concerns about such technology, one of the investors behind the center is Elon Musk; Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, Jessica Livingston and others join him in committing what will eventually be $1 billion or more to the project. According to Musk, all those on board have "made a substantial commitment."

OpenAI was announced on Friday, and it'll be operating out of San Francisco. According to a statement from the company, it seeks to "advance digital intelligence" for the betterment of humanity as a whole; it wants to create a "positive human impact." It is upfront in saying that, at this point in the process, "the outcome of this venture is uncertain."

When humanity will achieve human-like artificial intelligence isn't known, says OpenAI. However, when that time comes it'll be necessary to have a top entity — that is, OpenAI — that can "prioritize a good outcome." Indeed, the nonprofit touches on the topic of safety and the positive negative outcomes that artificial intelligence could produce.

In a statement, OpenAI said:

AI systems today have impressive but narrow capabilities. It seems that we'll keep whittling away at their constraints, and in the extreme case they will reach human performance on virtually every intellectual task. 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.

SOURCE: New York Times