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posted by CoolHand on Sunday December 13 2015, @12:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the looking-for-skynet dept.

Elon Musk, a businessman who has described artificial intelligence development as "summoning the demon", is among the backers of the newly launched non-profit OpenAI:

Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and other technology entrepreneurs are betting that talented researchers, provided enough freedom and money, can develop artificial intelligence systems as advanced as those being built by the sprawling teams at Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Along the way, they'd like to save humanity from oblivion.

The pair are among the backers of OpenAI, a nonprofit company introduced Friday that will research novel artificial intelligence systems and share its findings. Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Sam Altman, president of the Y Combinator, will serve as co-chairman. The nonprofit has received financial backing from Musk, Thiel, co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc., Reid Hoffman and others as well as companies including Amazon Web Services and Infosys.

The group's backers have committed "significant" amounts of money to funding the project, Musk said in an interview. "Think of it as at least a billion."

Also at BBC, NYT, Fast Company, TechCrunch, and Hacker News (note the involvement of Sam Altman).

Here's the home page. From the about page:

We're hiring research engineers and scientists. We're looking for people who have excelled as part of a research group or technical team previously, but we're flexible on the details — great research comes from mixing a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints.

If you're interested in joining, get in touch at Tell us about yourself, your background, previous work (individual or collaborative) you're proud of, and why OpenAI excites you. Please include any materials that can help us understand what you've done, whether its a resume, publication list, Github profile, or a list of features you've built on a product. A deep learning background is optional (especially if you have strong software engineering skills), but you should show us that you're excited about becoming an expert in the field.

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by Koen on Sunday December 13 2015, @12:49AM

    by Koen (427) on Sunday December 13 2015, @12:49AM (#275626)

    I suppose it is not related to this 2001-2002 OpenAI [] project [].

    I remember reading about it then, the two first posters on a discussion page which probably does not exist anymore (too lazy to do a thorough search - it might even have been yet another OpenAI than the one linked to above) were fighting over who owned the project: "I had the first post here" vs "I created this page and was waiting for somebody to post on it to see if there was any interest". After seeing that I never went back to that page and forgot about it until today.

    /. refugees on Usenet: comp.misc [comp.misc]
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:03AM (#275632)

    "Here the plan, man. We gonna do exacly the same thing what Google and Facebook and Microsoft do, but we not goona be evil. Honest."

    Fuck you, Elon Musk. Fuck you to hell.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:16AM (#275636)

      ...The fuck are you going on about?

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:30AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @01:30AM (#275639)

        1. Didn't read the summary.
        2. Don't recognize a Google slogan.
        3. Refuse to understand the comparison.

        Congratulations, you're stupid enough to join the OpenAI team!

  • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Sunday December 13 2015, @03:46AM

    by richtopia (3160) on Sunday December 13 2015, @03:46AM (#275669) Homepage Journal

    Get it? Like the background process?

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @04:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @04:22AM (#275681)

      I don't get it, because I'm a clueless Soystain reader.

      Oh, it's a joke! I get jokes.


    • (Score: 3, Informative) by stormwyrm on Sunday December 13 2015, @04:55AM

      by stormwyrm (717) on Sunday December 13 2015, @04:55AM (#275685) Journal

      "You are worse than a fool," Michele said, getting to her feet, the pistol in her hand. “You have no care for your species. For thousands of years men dreamed of pacts with demons. Only now are such things possible. And what would you be paid with? What would your price be, for aiding this thing to free itself and grow?” -- William Gibson, Neuromancer

      Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @09:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @09:20PM (#275850)
        Only the case for Strong AI.

        I don't see many good reasons for Strong AI - as in stuff that behaves as if it's self-aware especially stuff that might actually be self-aware[1]. Self-driving cars are fine. But self-aware cars that decide which destinations which they predict they would rather go to? Self-aware factories that decide what to make? Don't go down that path till society is ready for the consequences.

        1) They may pick goals that are good for them but not for us, and nobody may realize it till it's too late.
        2) We're building stuff so that we can enslave and abuse them in whatever ways we want right? It's fine for owners to abuse their hammers or even conventional computers, but it's a different thing to abuse a dog. We're already enslaving and abusing plenty of non-human intelligent creatures - farm animals, pets etc. Why create more opportunities for us to be evil? Create better tools, augment humans, but don't create new creatures only to abuse them or be abused by them.

        Same goes for human-animal hybrids. Don't go down that path till society is ready for the consequences.

        [1] it's hard to prove self-awareness - some think consciousness is a fundamental in this universe, but I'm not so confident it is everywhere. It could require certain things. Just like quantum coherence for photosynthesis which is common (plenty of plants doing it) but doesn't necessarily happen everywhere even in solar panels which do similar stuff. The end result might be similar but the "magic" isn't happening.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @04:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @04:19AM (#275679)

    Tell us about yourself

    Yes, why not. Tell you all about myself. My interests, background, previous projects.....

    What have I got to lose from telling dodgy people and groups all about myself?

    I am interested in what FSF has to say about this.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @11:20AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @11:20AM (#275747)

      I am interested in what FSF has to say about this.

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) falls strangely silent at times, handing off the fight to the EFF.

      Not that nobody is interested, but there's a shortage of people working on behalf of the FSF. Please join and/or donate to the FSF [].

  • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Sunday December 13 2015, @06:30AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Sunday December 13 2015, @06:30AM (#275707)

    does anyone else keep envisioning this [] when they read "summoning the demon"? ;P

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @08:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13 2015, @08:21AM (#275729)

      Someone better call Buffy [], quickly!