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Elon Musk Fears the Robot Apocalypse, Donates $10 Million to Stop it

| 15 Jan 2015 18:30
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Elon Musk loves you, and the rest of humanity, so he donated a pile of cash to keep future AI cozy with us meatbags.

We all love the dark comedy surrounding the eventual robot-fueled apocalypse (as evidenced by the headline), but there are those among us taking steps to ensure its cancellation...or its delay, at least.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, Hyperloop enthusiast, and general man of science, is now one of those luminary figures.

Everyone's favorite inventor/investor has donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute, an organization currently focused on "...potential risks from the development of human-level artificial intelligence."

AI research and development is on an ever-upwards trajectory, and organizations like the all-volunteer FLI want to ensure that artificial intelligence stays human-friendly. "That AI systems should be beneficial in their effect on human society is a given", said AI expert and author Stuart Russell. "The research that will be funded under this program will make sure that happens. It's an intrinsic and essential part of doing AI research."

The $10 million is going to be distributed via competitive grants through futureoflife.org. The cash will also be spent on "meetings and outreach programs aimed at bringing together academic AI researchers," as well as specific AI research outside of the engineering space (ethics, law, economics, etc.)

Elon's cash speaks volumes about how quickly AI development is moving, and it's the biggest step taken by a private citizen in the AI space in recent memory. And it certainly bodes well for humanity in general, unlike those "do not kill," instructions specific to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Source: The Future of Life Institute

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