OpenAI, Musk’s Non-Profit That Aims To Develop Safe AI, Signaling Expansion

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OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company, seems to be preparing for an expansion. Co-chaired by Elon Musk, investor, inventor, business magnate and CEO of Tesla and Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, OpenAI aims to promote and develop safe and friendly AI.

In a post published on the company’s official website, the firm announced that it is looking for a full-time Recruiting Coordinator. This was also announced on the company’s official Twitter account, after almost two months of complete silence. It seems safe to infer that they are indeed preparing for an expansion and quite a significant one. The Recruiting Coordinator will play a “key role in efforts that impact the entire company,” partner with headhunters, coordinate interviews, plan to recruit events and more.

In 2017, during The International, one of the biggest esports events in the world, OpenAI’s bot played against one of the world’s top Dota 2 players and won – beating the player so badly that he had to throw in the towel, Venture Beat reports. After the demonstration, Greg Brockman, the CTO of OpenAI, explained that the bot had learned to play the game after playing against itself. This, Brockman explained, is a step in the direction of creating software that can handle even more complex tasks. “This is a step toward building more general systems which can learn more complicated, messy, and important real-world tasks like being a surgeon,” Brockmann said.

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While OpenAI may not be receiving nearly as much press attention as Musk’s other ventures, its founders are motivated by concerns about existential risk from artificial general intelligence. Elon Musk considers AI to be humanity’s biggest existential threat. “We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close,” he once said to The Guardian.

OpenAI’s co-founder, Sam Altman, seems to think the same. “If you have the AIs and the humans and they’re both trying to enslave the other, and they both want the same thing that’s a recipe for conflict every time,” Altman said to Business Insider in 2017.

“Our goal is to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return. Since our research is free from financial obligations, we can better 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.”

Taken from OpenAI’s official website, the quote summarizes what this company is about. Their most recent announcement suggests that they are ready to expand their reach. According to CNN, OpenAI started small, with 9 full-time researchers. Musk and others initially committed 1 billion United States Dollars to the project. Based in San Francisco, OpenAI currently has 8 open positions, but once they hire a Recruiting Coordinator that number could start growing rapidly.

Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and other industry giants have famously discussed AI and warned of the existential dangers its development and widespread availability could bring. OpenAI is one of the few companies focused on developing safe and friendly AI.