After announcing he’s scared of artificial intelligence, Tesla inventor Elon Musk has announced the company he set up to stop robots taking over the world is developing an artifical intelligence-powered robot.
OpenAI, the company set up by Musk, made the announcement in a blog where it listed its technical goals. Alongside making artifical inteligence ‘safe’, OpenAI wants to ensure the technologies behind AI can be widely distributed and open, making sure everyone who wants to build new robots using the technoogy can do so.
In the blog post, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Sam Altman and Elon Musk said they wanted to build a robot that could be used for household tasks. This would not only showcase the technology, but also to help develop new functions of OpenAI.
“We’re working to enable a physical robot (off-the-shelf; not manufactured by OpenAI) to perform basic housework,” the founders of OpenAI wrote. “There are existing techniques for specific tasks, but we believe that learning algorithms can eventually be made reliable enough to create a general-purpose robot. More generally, robotics is a good testbed for many challenges in AI.”
The company also wants to build an agent with natural language understanding, including asking for clarification if it doesn’t understand something it’s asked to do.
“Today, there are promising algorithms for supervised language tasks such as question answering, syntacticparsing and machine translation but there aren’t any for more advanced linguistic goals, such as the ability to carry a conversation, the ability to fully understand a document, and the ability to follow complex instructions in natural language,” the company said.
It’s a bit of a u-turn by OpenAI to decide it wants to make a robot, but both the construction of such hardware, which it promises will be something spectacular, and the possibility of it being able to understand human conversation, could make it one of the hottest robots around if it ever goes on sale.