Elon Musk is leaving board of the non-profit AI safety group, OpenAI in order to remove a potential conflict of interest between the group's work and the work on artificial intelligence his companies are undertaking.
The Tesla CEO co-founded OpenAI in December 2015 along with Y Combinator president Sam Altman, not so long after he'd referred to AI as "potentially more dangerous than nukes".
The whole idea behind the group was to study the ethics of artificial intelligence, and develop technology that could help people and focus on safety, rather than letting it escalate to robots taking over the world.
However, the OpenAI group announced in a blog post on Wednesday that Musk will be leaving the group due to a conflict of interest with Tesla's machine learning research that looks to develop autonomous driving.
"As Tesla continues to become more focused on AI, this will eliminate a potential future conflict for Elon," OpenAI wrote in a blog post.
However, the organisation said that Musk will continue to advise and donate to the non-profit.
The group also added that it will be welcoming new donors, including Jed McCaleb, Gabe Newell, Michael Seibel, Jaan Tallinn, and Ashton Eatonand Brianne Theisen-Eaton. Also, Pieter Abbeel, Julia Galef, and Maran Nelson are becoming advisors to OpenAI.
"We're broadening our base of funders to prepare for the next phase of OpenAI, which will involve ramping up our investments in our people and the compute resources necessary to make consequential breakthroughs in artificial intelligence," the group said.
"In the coming months you can also expect us to articulate the principles with which we'll be approaching the next phase of OpenAI, and the policy areas in which we wish to see changes to ensure AI benefits all of humanity."
The OpenAI board now consists of: Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, Holden Karnofsky, and Sam Altman.
The group said it will be adding another director soon, and plans to further expand the board over time to regularly publish AI research papers and release source code for other people to use.
The news might come as a relief to some investors that he is taking back two per cent of his time that he previously said he dedicated on OpenAI, and now focusing more on launching rockets into space with cars strapped to them, and developing a fully autonomous vehicle, as promised.
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