Elon Musk Just Donated $10 Million to Prevent Skynet

Elon Musk is worried about the dangers of AI. How worried? In a tweet last year he said AI could be “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

Today, Elon Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute. They run a global research program at keeping AI nice and beneficial to us humans.

Artificial intelligence will be one of the next big sectors. But, AI safety needs to be an important consideration when moving forward. Elon Musk and many top AI researchers have signed an open letter for “research on how to make AI systems robust and beneficial is both important and timely, and that there are concrete research directions that can be pursued today.”

“I agree with them (AI researchers), so I’m today committing $10M to support research aimed at keeping AI beneficial for humanity,” says Musk.

Here’s a video of Elon Musk and Prof. Thomas Dietterich (President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligen) talking about AI safety.

In the video above, Prof. Dietterich touches on some of the dangers facing AI.

“But, there are risks. Both from the software malfunctioning or getting out of control, or from cybersecurity threats,” says Dietterich.

He also says Musk’s contribution will “really set the stage for much more rapid progress in building safe AI where we can benefit from the strong upside potential.”

Musk also talks about how preparing and preventing something bad with AI is better than waiting for something catastrophic to occur.

Skype-founder and one of FLI’s founders Jaan Tallinn has a perfect analogy I’m sure Musk likes.

“Building advanced AI is like launching a rocket. The first challenge is to maximize acceleration, but once it starts picking up speed, you also need to to focus on steering.”

Elon Musk and the Hyperloop

Elon Musk also talked about the Hyperloop today at the Texas Transportation Forum. Word is Musk will be building a 5 mile Hyperloop test track. The track will probably be in Texas and Musk is also thinking of an annual student competition at the track.

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