Tech titans pledge $1bn for AI research

San Francisco, December 12

Several big-name Silicon Valley figures have pledged $1 billion to support a non-profit firm that on Friday said would focus on ‘positive human impact’ of artificial intelligence (AI).

Backers of the OpenAI research group include Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk, Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, LinkedIn Co-founder Reid Hoffman, and PayPal Co-founder Peter Thiel.

“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,” read the inaugural message posted on the OpenAI website.

“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.”

OpenAI funders ‘have committed $1 billion, although we expect to only spend a tiny fraction of this in the next few years’.

Artificial intelligence is a red-hot field of research and investment for many tech companies and entrepreneurs. However, leading scientists and tech investors have publicly expressed concern over the risks that artificial intelligence could pose to humanity if mismanaged.