Tech giants back non-profit AI builders with $1 billion

Tech giants have pledged a billion dollars to a non-profit company building artificial intelligence for the benefit of mankind.

The non-profit OpenAI will thus receive $1bn (£660m) from Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, as well as Indian tech giant Infosys and Amazon Web Services.

It is interesting to see Elon Musk in the list, knowing that he sees artificial intelligence as the biggest threat to humanity. Open AI says it expects its research - free from financial obligations - to focus on a "positive human impact".

“We believe AI should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as possible,” the company says on its website.

Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic among tech giants and thinkers, with the biggest names split into two camps – one who believe AI will be the end of humanity, and the other which does not believe such a grim future will occur. Professor Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are among those who dislike the idea of AI, while Google’ co-founder Larry Page is on the other end.

However, OpenAI believes it’s hard to imagine what the future with AI will be like.

“It's hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it's equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly.”

“The outcome of this venture is uncertain and the work is difficult, but we believe the goal and the structure are right. We hope this is what matters most to the best in the field.”