Often called the real life Tony Stark and by proxy Iron Man, The SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, is both deathly afraid of robots and recognizes their utility. Musk truly believes that robots will take over the world some day but in the mean time why not use them.
Musk put his money where is robot fearing mouth is with OpenAI
Perhaps, saying that Elon Musk is afraid of robots is a touch off-base. However, Musk is certainly fearful of robots and artificial intelligence sharing the same bed or “brain.” Musk made a famous speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014 where he told the audience that this unholy pairing represented “our biggest existential threat.”
He then went so far as to say, “with artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon.”
“In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon,” he continued, paused for the laughter to subside before saying with a smile, “Didn’t work out.”
This speech came on the heels of his announcement of the formation of OpenAI, a $1 billion non-profit artificial intelligence watchdog that he and others funded to stay in the loop and police companies developing the technology.
“I wanted to see how artificial intelligence was developing,” Musk said in the CNN interview. Among his questions: “Are companies taking the right safety precautions?”
That’s not to say that Musk doesn’t see the value of AI and has invested millions in a number of different companies whose aim is to advance the field.
Now Musk has announced that OpenAI wishes to work on a natural language processing chatbot, a system that can defeat humans in any game just as IBM’s Watson rubbished Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, Jeopardy champions that were nothing short of luminaries in the decades that the game show has aired. In addition, Musk wants to build a robot to help around the house in the pursuit of AI ambitions because “robotics is a good testbed for many challenges in AI”.
What he envisions is someone sweeping your floors that can also be asked to answer any question while cleaning up and telling you that it doesn’t understand the question. More than simply acknowledging its ignorance its ignorance, Musk would like it to learn from its failings.
AI is worth developing
“OpenAI’s mission is to build safe AI, and ensure AI’s benefits are as widely and evenly distributed as possible,” the company says in the blog post written by Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Sam Altman, and Elon Musk. “We’re trying to build AI as part of a larger community, and we want to share our plans and capabilities along the way. We’re also working to solidify our organisation’s governance structure and will share our thoughts on that later this year.”
Going back to machine learning and natural language the goal is to use an existing robot from a selected a manufacture and augment it in such a way that has the “ability to carry a conversation, the ability to fully understand a document, and the ability to follow complex instructions in natural language.”
Game playing in OpenAI’s thinking is hardly essential, but rather provides a “living metric” to measure the efficacy of an intelligent agent.
“Games are virtual mini-worlds that are very diverse, and learning to play games quickly and well will require significant advances in generative models and reinforcement learning,” Google’s DeepMind team wrote in a blog post after is AlphaGo beat the world’s best Go player, Lee Se-dol. “We’re just getting started on these projects, and the details may change as we gain additional data. We also expect to add new projects over time.”
Despite warnings, the group truly wishes to advance the technology.