The Washington Post

Elon Musk’s fear of Terminators just netted researchers $10 million

A T-800 Terminator in a scene from "Terminator Salvation." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Elon Musk, the PayPal co-founder behind SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is really worried about artificial intelligence -- so worried that he's donated $10 million to support research "aimed at keeping AI beneficial to humanity."

Essentially, he doesn't want humanity to build Terminators. (In fact, Musk has discussed the film series an example of what he worries might happen if researchers aren't careful.)

Musk's $10 million donation will be administered by the non-profit Future of Life Institute, which is "working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity" with a focus on artificial intelligence. It will be used to run a global research program carried out through an open grants competition, according to a statement from the group. 

The eccentric inventor has been vocal about his fear of artificial intelligence, once tweeting that it was potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

But he isn't alone. Many academics as well as employees at major tech companies including Microsoft and Google have signed onto an open letter hosted by the Future of Life Institute that laid out priorities for keeping artificial intelligence research "robust and beneficial."

Presumably, avoiding the development of Terminators.

Show Comments
Washington Post Subscriptions

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

A limited time offer for Apple Pay users.

Buy with
Cancel anytime

$9.99/month after the two month trial period. Sales tax may apply.
By subscribing you agree to our Terms of Service, Digital Products Terms of Sale & Privacy Policy.

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

Most Read
DJIA -0.03%
NASDAQ 0.48%
Last Update: 01/17/2017(DJIA&NASDAQ)




Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing
Read content from allstate
Content from Allstate This content is paid for by an advertiser and published by WP BrandStudio. The Washington Post newsroom was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more about WP BrandStudio.
We went to the source. Here’s what matters to millennials.
A state-by-state look at where Generation Y stands on the big issues.