Critic Elon Musk Quits Ethics Research Group OpenAI

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Curiosity Rover on Planet Mars. The landscape shows plots will not be on sale there any time soon

Mr Musk will continue to donate to and advise the group.

The move was announced in a short blog post, explaining that Musk is leaving in order to avoid a conflict of interest between OpenAI's work and the machine learning research done by Telsa to develop autonomous driving.

OpenAI's mission is to develop safe AGI (artificial general intelligence) and ensure those developments are made public; its 60 or so researchers are tasked with long-term research, according to the company. But now Musk has vacated his position on OpenAI's board, and it's down to the fact Tesla is focussing more and more on AI.

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OpenAI sees this broadening base of funders as essential as it increases investment in "our people and the compute resources necessary to make consequential breakthroughs in artificial intelligence".

Musk had co-founded the prominent tech non-profit institution Open AI with Y Combinator president Sam Altman to study the ethics and safety of artificial intelligence.

OpenAI also announced a group of new donors this week, including former Olympic athletes Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton as well as Skype founder Jaan Tallinn. Its areas of research are wide and include teaching computers to control robots with minimal instruction and the creation of AI agents to play the popular video game Dota.

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It's no secret that Elon Musk is wary of artificial intelligence. He has also been vocal about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence-even describing AI as "the greatest risk we face as a civilization" while engaging in a war of words with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over their disagreement on the subject.

Musk helped craft OpenAI's vision and financed much of the nonprofit's growth.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full interview, and for more Tesla-related content, click below to listen to Kai's 2015 interview with Musk for Marketplace's Corner Office. The company has so far not managed to come close to delivering a level 5 self-driving system.

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