Elon Musk is pretty much on the cutting edge of what is currently technologically possible, so when he spoke about his concerns about the worryingly fast progression of artificial intelligence (AI), the world started to take notice. Sure enough, Musk isn’t the only intellectual afraid of the moment that AI becomes self-aware – Stephen Hawking has previously voiced that AI could end the human race – but thankfully there are people working to make sure that when AI does reach the “singularity” that they will continue to be beneficial to us instead of trying to overthrow us. One such group is the Future of Life Institute, a body that Musk himself has just donated $10 million to aid their research.
Speaking about the donation, FLI co-founder Anthony Aguirre said:
This donation will make a major impact. 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.
The money will go towards an open grants competition hosted by the Future of Life Institute who are hoping to reward not only AI researchers, but ideas rooted in “economics, law, ethics and policy” that could eventually help to shape AI’s place in our world. It’s obviously one small step, but as FLI co-founder Meia Chita-Tegmark says:
Hopefully this grant program will help shift our focus from building things just because we can, toward building things because they are good for us in the long term
Check out Elon Musk talking about the announcement of the donation in the video below: