At the box office, AI is typically spun as an evil entity. AI is without mercy and initiates justice as “it” sees fit.
You surely can’t have missed movies like The Terminator and The Matrix, both of which presented the total dominance of mankind through a lethal blending of well-built machines and advanced artificial intelligence. The finale of both series involved wide-scale war with what little remained of mankind.
But what can’t be missed with any movie exhibiting AI in a negative light is that it’s usually a direct outcome of mankind’s curiosity. How smart can we make machines? How far can we take technology? This mentality will typically lead to advanced technology that ultimately turns on humans—but is this closer to reality than we think? According to some of the most influential technology pioneers such as Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates, this might be so.
But don’t hustle to throw out your smart gadgets just yet because OpenAI plans to reduce the threats AI could potentially present. This nonprofit organization was initially funded with over a billion dollars in donations from a handful of high profile investors. These donators would include tech giants such as Elon Musk (popular for his work in the automotive and space industries), Sam Altman (a 28-year old Stanford dropout who has influenced companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, and Loopt), and Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal and Facebook’s first outside investor).
In the upcoming future, OpenAI plans to be the leading research institution working towards the betterment of artificial intelligence. A former research scientist from Google, Ilya Sutskever, who worked on the Google Brain Team for three years and founded DNNresearch, will lead this nonprofit organization, and all OpenAI researchers and scientists are “strongly encouraged to publish their work” willingly with the entire world.
The ultimate goal of OpenAI is to “prioritize a good outcome for all over its own self-interest” and “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.” In other words, OpenAI was created to encourage positive AI applications and to help thwart a wide-scale robot takeover.