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Elon Musk Gives $10 Million in Grants to Study Safe AI

Elon Musk

Elon Musk will fund 37 projects that are expected to make AI safer and more useful to humans.

Credit: Business Insider

Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk has given the Future of Life Institute (FLI) $10 million to be distributed as 37 grants to research projects designed to keep artificial intelligence (AI) "robust and beneficial." The institute's purpose is to protect the human race from what its founders perceive as existential threats from AI.

Despite the alarmist tone, Musk's grants will support fundamental research necessary to improve AI technologies. "FLI catalyzes and supports research and initiatives for safeguarding life and developing optimistic visions of the future, including positive ways for humanity to steer its own course considering new technologies and challenges," according to the institute.

One project funded by Musk's grant seeks to train autonomous AI to respond to situations it does not comprehend in ways a person would, without intervention. University of California, Berkeley's Paul Christiano aims to develop efficient mechanisms to provide human oversight. Another grant to Carnegie Mellon University's Manuela Veloso will focus on how to make AIs explain their actions so people can better understand them and take remedial measures.

Association of the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence president Tom Dietterich believes the FLI grant will concentrate on what he calls the "unknown unknowns," or aspects of AI that its designers have not foreseen.

From Information Week
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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