Microsoft has invested $1 billion in the Elon Musk-founded artificial intelligence venture that plans to mimic the human brain using computers. Open AI said the investment would go towards its efforts of building artificial general intelligence (AGI) that can rival and surpass the cognitive capabilities of humans. “The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
“Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we’re working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we’ll build AGI.” The two firms will jointly build AI supercomputing technologies, which OpenAI plans to commercialize through Microsoft and its Azure cloud computing business. OpenAI was founded in 2015 with the goal of developing AGI that can learn and master several disciplines, rather than the narrow abilities of most modern artificial intelligence systems.
The startup has already achieved a number of AI milestones, most notably beating the world’s best human players at the video game Dota 2, but hopes its technology can one day help address climate change and other major challenges facing the planet. “An AGI working on a problem would be able to see connections across disciplines that no human could,” OpenAI CTO Greg Brockman wrote in a blog post announcing the investment. “We want AGI to work with people to solve currently intractable multi-disciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, affordable and high-quality healthcare, and personalized education.”
OpenAI also claims its technology will ultimately provide everyone with the economic freedom to pursue whatever they find most fulfilling while creating “new opportunities for all our lives that are unimaginable today”.