Its long-range goal will be to create an “artificial general intelligence,” a machine capable of performing any intellectual task that a human being can, according to Mr. Musk. He also stressed that the focus was on building technologies that augment rather than replace humans.
Mr. Musk, who is deploying A.I.-based technologies in some of his products like the Tesla automobile, said that he has had longstanding concerns about the possibility that artificial intelligence could be used to create machines that might turn on humanity.
He began discussing the issue this year with Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Thiel and Sam Altman, president of the Y Combinator investment group.
“We discussed what is the best thing we can do to ensure the future is good?” he said. “We could sit on the sidelines or we can encourage regulatory oversight, or we could participate with the right structure with people who care deeply about developing A.I. in a way that is safe and is beneficial to humanity.”
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