The Future of Life Institute announced on Thursday, January 15th that tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has made a $10 million donation to FLI to operate a global research program designed to make sure that artificial intelligence remains beneficial to humanity. The $10 million donation to FLI is earmarked for grants to support AI researchers across a broad range of disciplines, especially economics, law, ethics and policy.

Elon Musk Donates $10M For AI Research

Elon Musk and many other scientists and technical leaders recently signed an open letter urging more research into maximizing the social benefits of AI.

More on new Musk-funded FLI global AI research program

The new Musk-funded FLI program will also include meetings and outreach programs aimed at bringing together academic AI researchers, industry AI developers and other stakeholders to explore how to maximize the societal benefits of AI. A meeting to further these goals was held in Puerto Rico just last week.

Research supported by the program is accessible through an open grants competition. An application portal at http://futureoflife.org will open by Monday January 19. Most of the grant funds will be awarded to AI researchers, and the remainder will be funneled to AI-related research in fields such as economics, law, ethics and policy. “Anybody can send in a grant proposal, and the best ideas will win regardless of whether they come from academia, industry or elsewhere”, noted FLI co-founder Viktoriya Krakovna.

Statement from Elon Musk

After reading the open letter on AI, Musk decided to put his money where his mouth is. “Here are all these leading AI researchers saying that AI safety is important”, Musk said. “I agree with them, so I’m today committing $10M to support research aimed at keeping AI beneficial for humanity.

Statement from the President of AAAI

“It’s wonderful, because this will provide the impetus to jump-start research on AI safety”, commented AAAI president Tom Dietterich. “This addresses several fundamental questions in AI research that deserve much more funding than even this donation will provide.”