Elon Musk Just Donated $10 Million To Keep Robots From Murdering You

Illustration for article titled Elon Musk Just Donated $10 Million To Keep Robots From Murdering You

Hey. Would you prefer it if an unstoppable, vengeful robot didn't soccer-kick your wife's head across a room before bathing in your blood? Then thank Elon Musk. He doesn't want that to happen to you, now or ever.


That's why the Tesla Motors CEO and co-founder today donated $10 million to the Future Of Life Institute, a non-profit organization founded by scientists and the guy who helped create Kazaa that is "working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity."

How will they do this, and how will they spend Musk's money? I figured it would arm every man, woman and child in America with EMP-emitting rifles, but it turns out it's more nuanced and less fun than that. It's going to be used to bolster research into AI safety through an open grant program; ideas for that can be submitted the Institute through Jan. 22.

From a post on their site about the announcement:

There is now a broad consensus that AI research is progressing steadily, and that its impact on society is likely to increase. A long list of leading AI-researchers have signed an open letter calling for research aimed at ensuring that AI systems are robust and beneficial, doing what we want them to do. Musk's donation aims to support precisely this type of research: "Here are all these leading AI researchers saying that AI safety is important", says Elon Musk. "I agree with them, so I'm today committing $10M to support research aimed at keeping AI beneficial for humanity."

I'd make a closing joke, but Elon beat me to it, surely as a robot would beat you to death with your own legs given the chance:


Thanks, Elon!


I've never understood the fear of sentient robotics. Unless humanity is just an unredeemable bag of dicks, the robots are more likely to treat us like those funny old people you are vaguely nice to out of a lingering sense of gratitude than anything else.

Hell, I remember reading a short story once where sentient sex bots saved the world because they didn't want the last penises in the world to go extinct. I think that far more likely than robots deciding randomly to kill everyone and doom themselves to boredom and uselessness for no good reason.