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Elon Musk and other tech luminaries create nonprofit to prevent AI from taking over the world

By Shawn Knight ยท 17 replies
Dec 12, 2015
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  1. Artificial intelligence is advancing at an unprecedented pace, a fact that concerns some of the world's brightest minds. In an effort to help deter the likelihood of robots becoming self-aware and taking over humanity as depicted in countless Hollywood movies, several tech luminaries have joined forces to create OpenAI.

    As explained on Medium, OpenAI is a nonprofit funded by the likes of Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel and Amazon Web Services, just to name a few. Collectively, they're pledging more than a billion dollars to counteract large companies or even governments that might gain too much power in the field of artificial intelligence.

    Sam Altman, Y Combinator CEO and OpenAI funder, acknowledges that companies leading the way in AI research such as Google currently share much of their research. But as we inch closer to reaching a level where AI surpasses human intelligence, Altman says there is concern over how much those companies will continue to divulge.

    As such, OpenAI promises to make its results public and will offer its patents royalty-free.

    Of those involved, entrepreneur Elon Musk has perhaps been the most outspoken regarding his fears of an AI-dominated future. Rather than simply helping fund the nonprofit, Musk said he plans to spend time with the team - perhaps an afternoon every week or so - to see where things stand, offer feedback and so on. Musk added that he is personally going to be super conscious of safety as it's something he is quite concerned about.

    Image courtesy Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    Them people are cooks! If you believe the Terminators are real... seek help! There's a reason we don't let kids play with scissors, guns and nuclear weapons. We can't trust the little bastards. Potus himself doesn't even have the whole launch code, because it's pure madness to let a single individual have that much power. Why would anyone ever trust an A.I. with actual destructive capabilities?
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,690   +980

    Sounds like they want to create the "Three Laws".
    didactic, wastedkill and Auth3ntic0 like this.
  4. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,229   +750

    Yeah... if you actually understood how complex an AI would have to become in order for it to even become a "threat", letalone a global threat, you wouldn't be worrying (especially in this millennium).

    AI won't surpass human intelligence (or should I say ability to learn and process raw data) for quite a long time. It's too limited by humans lol
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,045   +1,377

    I'm just gonna be wise enough, unlike a lot of other people here on the web, to know that Elon musk and the others know a hell of a lot more about computer science than me, and thus has some reasonable idea as to why this is necessary. It's ignorant to assume someone like musk doesn't know what's going on, and cringeworthy too.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
    Jamesbrah likes this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,400   +2,860

    We all need to remember that for the next generation, all the toil & issues we have tackled will be common knowledge so their inspiration and aspirations tend to be greater than our own ... as do their accomplishments. Unfortunately the issue of AI isn't a matter of IF so much as it is WHEN. As we look at the difficulties we currently have mastering technology (ie: terrorists ability to use it despite our best efforts) there will be a measured amount of vulnerability that is just part of the game. Just look at how much that the likes of Jules Vern imagined and is now common place. Certainly not all, but much more than existed in his day and as humans continue to evolve, so will our technology. I do think that Musk is probably jumping the gun a bit, but considering the advancements in robotics in Japan these days, he may indeed be right on cue. This is one case that I think being safe vs. sorry is a pretty sound concept.

    Besides, I would love to have my own Chappi, but with boobs and able to make a good Whiskey Sour on demand ...... ahhhhhh .... heaven!
  7. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 339   +105

    Since technology keeps growing at exponential rates, I wouldn't say it's impossible for not much longer. If anything, I'd expect something major to happen in my lifetime (only 22), so there's a century for stuff to happen, and probably will.

    Sort of like IPv4 where there was no way we'd use every single address.
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,229   +750

    Yeah, and the same was said about how much RAM would be needed. But that wasn't dealing with organic data. Heck, humans can't even process organic data right some of the time lol.

    I'd expect something complex to be made and programmed by humans soonish, but not on a level that would come close to our ability to process organic data. At best it would rival a young toddler, and they can be pretty smart on a rudimentary level...

    Heck, I'd expect reliable quantum computing in every house long before that day comes :p
  9. I think this is an evitable event. AI will become self aware. Theoretically, a computer is smarter than a human since its one complete system is a collection of many human ideas. Once is a human dies his memory dies with him. The cognitive portion ( the part that is naturally learnt not thought) is what makes human unique. If a human can program a system to learn and acquire new cognitive abilities then the AI would become dominant its memory could be everlasting because computers dont die.
  10. Lol, AI glitch. Dejavu.
  11. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 490   +98

    Never forget to make the power switch accesible, it will solve all your problems.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,283

    I always thought super AI intelligence was the stuff of Hollywood but if powerful people like these are becoming concerned then I think we should too.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    Chalk one up for AI. You only have to read any PC hardware related forum thread to realize that humans haven't mastered that particular facet of evolution yet. :eek:
    If you code for morality it might quell some peoples anxiety.
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,881   +677

    We always have the trump card, black out the sky and disappear underground, seems like a legit solution to the problem if ever it arose. With any luck I'll be long dead before that day ever comes, however with the constant advancements in the field and the ever increasing processing power and density of super computers I don't see it being anything but inevitable, maybe not the backing out the skies part, but we will absolutely see AI become more and more prominent in media in the coming decades. Unfortunately the idea of programing a kill switch is pointless, the AI mind will be vastly superior to our own by the time that would be necessary and in turn capable of circumventing it altogether.
  15. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,253   +351

    We probably already have killer robots that are motion and heat based. But I doubt they are very smart or affordable. Probably more of if you do not have a certain grocery type bar code on your uniform your dead squad.

    It's funny how we were all obsessed and ready to riot in the 90s if we had real proof the gov was spying on us. Yet it came to be a decade later and no one cared.

    Now were worried about ai! Yikes! 3 decades later will have armed soldier bots ran by cell phone sized chips.

    At that time people will be worried about the new bio soldiers and genetically modified human trials.
  16. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +99

    "Artificial Intelligence"...blah....blah....blah. "AI" is only as good as the human critter that created the billions of lines of code for the computer. I'm so tired of all the fear mongering. I also think it is ridiculous of this article to say that "artificial intelligence will be smarter than humans someday". What a load of steaming crap that is.
  17. General Sam

    General Sam TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +13

    Well this feels like it'll just hold us back from our true potential. Or perhaps these companies want to fanny around with AI to make more money for longer.
  18. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,079   +1,361

    The day I see a computer laugh at joke is when I might start to believe this.

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