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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.

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