Artificial Intelligence Nonprofit OpenAI Launches With Backing From Elon Musk And Sam Altman

Today, OpenAI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research company was announced to the world. Its director, Ilya Sutskever, is a research scientist at Google. This comes a day after Facebook open-sourced its AI hardware.

Its reason for existing was explained in an introductory post:

Our 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.

Former Stripe CTO Greg Brockman is taking the same position for OpenAI. There are quite a few other interesting names involved, including Y Combinator’s Sam Altman and Tesla/SpaceX’s Elon Musk acting as co-chairs:

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.

The organization is being funded by Altman, Brockman, Musk, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Amazon Web Services, Infosys and YC Research. Those funders have contributed $1 billion thus far. Musk has been donating money to make sure that AI doesn’t go the way of Skynet, so it’s nice to know that his involvement will have a safety lens on it.