Science

Elon Musk Counters AI Threat with OpenAI Gym

By | Apr 29, 2016 07:49 PM EDT
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Musk: Terminator Destroyer

Elon Musk wants to prevent AI robots from destroying humanity

Elon Musk has launched Open AI Gym, a toolkit designed to advance his vision of creating "friendly artificial intelligence" (FAI) to counter the looming threat from AIs that could one day wipe out the human race.

Musk, the founder of Space X and Tesla Motors, is famous for describing AI as humanity's biggest existential threat. Together with theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Musk has repeatedly urged that steps be taken to rein in AI research or to ensure AI machines are incapable of rapidly redesigning themselves independent of human control.

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If left unchecked, the result of this process would be an "intelligence explosion" leading to the creation of an "artificial super intelligence" (ASI) that might trigger humanity's extinction.

Open AI Gym, which was released April 27, is a toolkit for developing and comparing reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms. The toolkit is available at the Open AI website and is intended for artificial-intelligence programmers

It was developed by Musk's company, Open AI, a non-profit AI research company worth $1 billion. The goal of Open AI, which was established in December 2015, is to develop open-source friendly AI so this benefits and doesn't harm humanity. In other words, Open AI seeks to promote FAI to counter bad AI.

OpenAI CTO Greg Brockman said OpenAI Gym "provides a diverse suite of environments that range from easy to difficult and involve many different kinds of data." He said OpenAI wants OpenAI Gym to be a community effort from the get go and is working with partners to gather resources for OpenAI Gym.

OpenAI is Musk's answer to his own rhetorical question: "What is the best thing we can do to ensure the future is good?"

Musk believes humanity could sit on the sidelines and do nothing or those concerned about the nascent AI threat can encourage regulatory oversight of AI. Better yet, those concerned could "participate with the right structure with people who care deeply about developing AI in a way that is safe and is beneficial to humanity."

The result of this conviction is the establishment of Open AI. Musk is co-chair of Open AI.


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