Elon Musk is Researching Robot Overlords – The Biggest Existential Threat to Our Existence
At the beginning of 2015 billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk committed a substantial amount of money to Boston-based Future of Life Institute. The volunteer organization has since awarded $7 million in grants. The 37 winning projects focus on protecting humankind from what Musk considers the “biggest existential threat” to our existence – Artificial Intelligence.
The founder of Tesla and SpaceX gifted the Future of Life Institute a total of $10 million in January. At the time, the billionaire entrepreuner said he desired to support research “aimed at keeping AI beneficial for humanity.”
With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like – yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out, said Musk.
Among the list of grant recipients is the director of the University of Oxford’s program on the Impact of Future Technology Nick Bostrom. The $1.5 million grant will fund the creation of a joint Oxford-Cambridge think tank. They will minimize the risk of AI through the development of government and industrial policy.
Also at Oxford, Michael Wooldridge would supply a code of ethics to guide researchers and anticipate possible ethical issues resulting from their work.
In America, University of Denver researcher Heather Roff Perkins will study meaningful human control of autonomous weapons systems. The partnering of AI and weapons will change the future of warfare. The work intends to produce a framework to shape research and policy. Additionally, Roff intends to create a freely downloadable dataset on existing and emerging weapon systems with autonomous functions.
Musk is not the only celebrity with an interest in artificial intelligence. Together with actor Ashton Kutcher and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg they have invested in Vicarious. The company aims to build a computer that thinks like a human.
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