Elon Musk, Infosys, others back OpenAI with $1 bn

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) Global technology stalwarts, Infosys, Amazon Web Services and YC Research among ohers on Saturday announced committing $1 billion for non-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company OpenAI to advance digital intelligence for humanity’s maximum benefit.

With Y Combinator’s Sam Altman and Tesla Motors’ polymath Elon Musk as co-chairs and Pieter Abbeel, Yoshua Bengio, Alan Kay, Sergey Levine, and Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka as advisors, OpenAI has no financial obligations and pressures to generate profits.

“Since our research is free from financial obligations, we can better focus on a positive human impact. We believe AI should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as is possible safely,” said OpenAI in a blogpost.

OpenAI aims to build on recent advances in AI research to emerge with the next set of breakthroughs in the short-term while focus on deep learning research is its goal in the foreseeable future.

“In deep learning, rather than hand-code a new algorithm for each problem, you design architectures that can twist themselves into a wide range of algorithms based on the data you feed them,” it said in the blogpost.

According to OpenAI, deep learning yielded great results in pattern recognition problems, machine translation and speech recognition.

Highlighting that AI today is at an impressive state but with narrow capabilities, it said it feels, in the extreme case, AI can match human performance virtually on every intellectual task.

However, there is a word of caution too at the possible misuse of this poweful technology.

“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,” it said in the post.

One of the most important goals of OpenAI is to make ready a leading AI research institution to prioritise good outcomes by the time by human-level AI emerges.

The organization aims to freely collaborate with institutions and companies to research and deploy new technologies.

Openly sharing its research in the form of papers, blog posts, code, open-source projects, talks and tutorials with the wider world is its vision.

OpenAI has Ilya Sutskever, a decorated machine learning expert, as its research director and former Stripe CTO Greg Brockman for CTO.

It counts world class scientists and research engineers Trevor Blackwell, Vicki Cheung, Andrej Karpathy, Durk Kingma, John Schulman, Pamela Vagata and Wojciech Zaremba as its founding members.

OpenAI expects to spend only a tiny fraction of its $1 billion donation in the next few years.

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