Elon Musk Donates $10 Million to Ensure Artificial Intelligence Research Is 'Beneficial'
Elon Musk, creator of Tesla and SpaceX, has just donated $10 million of his own money to the Future of Life Institute, an organization that describes itself as "a volunteer-run research and outreach organization working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity." Musk's decision to donate comes after hundreds of big names in science, including Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Oxford University's Nick Bostrom, signed an open letter to mitigate the risks of burgeoning technology.
"Here are all these leading AI researchers saying that AI safety is important," said Musk. "I agree with them, so I'm today committing $10M to support research aimed at keeping AI beneficial for humanity."
"This donation will make a major impact," said UCSC professor and FLI co-founder Anthony Aguirre. "While heavy industry and government investment has finally brought AI from niche academic research to early forms of a potentially world-transforming technology, to date relatively little funding has been available to help ensure that this change is actually a net positive one for humanity."
Musk has been in the news lately for AI fear mongering, giving the public sound bites like "killer robots will arrive within five years" and "creating artificial intelligence is like summoning the demon." But he's hardly alone in that opinion, as many other prominent scientists believe that AI is a legitimate threat to humanity. Nick Bostrom stated that artificial intelligence is a bigger threat to humanity than global warming, while Stephen Hawking recently said that AI could spell the end of the human race. People often joke that Musk is the real-life Tony Stark, but if the plot of Avengers: Age of Ultron is any indication, Musk is significantly more careful with fancy toys that could one day decide to kill you.