The heavy hitters of Silicon Valley are joining forces to contribute $1 billion to finance OpenAl, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company. The company will focus on advancing artificial intelligence or “machine learning.”
Those who have contributed to the research center includes Haute 100 listers Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman as well as other well-known tech gurus like Sam Altman, Jessica Livingston, Greg Brockman. Businesses that are in support and have donated to the nonprofit include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys, and YC Research.
The nonprofit hopes to grow into a full fledge Silicon Valley research center. The aim: “to build value for everyone rather than shareholders.” According to the site, “Researchers will be strongly encouraged to publish their work, whether as papers, blog posts, or code, and our patents (if any) will be shared with the world. We’ll freely collaborate with others across many institutions and expect to work with companies to research and deploy new technologies.”
A number of contributors will also have a position within the nonprofit. OpenAI’s research director is Ilya Sutskever, one of the world experts in machine learning. The CTO is Greg Brockman, formerly the CTO of Stripe. The group’s other founding members are world-class research engineers and scientists: Trevor Blackwell, Vicki Cheung, Andrej Karpathy, Durk Kingma, John Schulman, Pamela Vagata, and Wojciech Zaremba. Pieter Abbeel, Yoshua Bengio, Alan Kay, Sergey Levine, and Vishal Sikka are advisors to the group. OpenAI’s co-chairs are Sam Altman and Elon Musk.
This isn’t the first time Musk, Hoffman and Thiel have worked on a project together. In addition to other individuals, Musk, Hoffman and Thiel founded Paypal, an online money transfers service, together. Each went on to successfully launch other business ventures. Musk has his hands in a number of industries such as the automobile and aerospace industry. Hoffman went on to co-found and become the executive chairman of LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network used primarily for professional networking. Thiel went on to co-found Palantir, which he currently serves as chairman.