Infosys Invests in Non-profit Artificial Research Firm

Published: 13th December 2015 12:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2015 12:21 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Bengaluru-headquartered IT services major Infosys has joined hand with Amazon Web Services and Silicon Valley tech leaders like Elon Musk of the Tesla fame and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel among others in investing $1 billion into OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company.

OpenAI has said in a blog post on Saturday that it aims "to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return".

In the blog, OpenAI said Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka will join the organisation as an advisor along with Pieter Abbeel, Yoshua Bengio, Alan Kay and Sergey Levine.

Sam Altman (Y Combinator), Greg Brockman (Stripe CTO), Musk, Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Jessica Livingston (Y Combinator), Peter Thiel, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys, and YC Research are donating to support OpenAI, it said.

"In all, these funders have committed $1 billion, although we expect to only spend a tiny fraction of this in the next few years," it added.

OpenAI said that its goal is to advance digital intelligence "in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return".

"As a non-profit, our aim is to build value for everyone rather than shareholders. Researchers will be strongly encouraged to publish their work, whether as papers, blog posts, or code, and our patents (if any) will be shared with the world," the blog post added.

OpenAI will freely collaborate with others across many institutions and expects to work with companies to research and deploy new technologies, it added.

OpenAI said that as its research is free of financial obligations, it can better focus on a positive human impact. "We believe AI should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as is possible safely," it said.

While the outcome of this venture is uncertain and the work is difficult, the entity believes the goal and the structure are right.

Infosys had recently announced new services christened Aikido that focuses on design thinking, platforms and knowledge-based IT to differentiate its offerings from rivals.

The company has lately been investing and acquiring firms working in new areas like artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning.


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