TECH

Elon Musk Backs Artificial Intelligence Research Centre To Keep Killer Robot Wars At Bay

14/12/2015 10:32 GMT | Updated 14/12/2015 10:59 GMT

The global artificial intelligence (AI) race has taken an interesting after Elon Musk backed a newly-launched research centre dedicated to ensuring AI is used for good and not evil.

OpenAI is a non-profit company backed by some of the tech industry's heavy-hitters, including Sam Altman and Pay Pal's Peter Thiel.

In a blog post, the team wrote: "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."

elon musk

They added: "We believe AI should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as possible."

What this essentially means is, whatever the firm's final product is will be designed to further humanity and not replace it.

In July, Musk joined professor Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in signing an open letter calling for a ban on offensive autonomous weapons.

This is not the first time Musk has put his name behind a grand idea. The billionaire, known for Space X and Tesla, recently told GQ that he did not "discount the possibility of a third World War."

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"You know, in 1912 they were proclaiming a new age of peace and prosperity, saying that it was a golden age, war was over," he said.

"And then you had World War I followed by World War II followed by the Cold War.

"So I think we need to acknowledge that there's certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that's happened before."

It is hard to tell what kind of role OpenAI will have if Musk's predictions come true. However, its founders are keen to ensure the outcomes are for humanity's good.

"Because of AI's surprising history, it's hard to predict when human-level AI might come within reach," they wrote.

"When it does, it'll be important to have a leading research institution which can prioritize a good outcome for all over its own self-interest."