Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who once famously expressed fears that research into artificial intelligence might result in a "Terminator" like future, is now one of the financial supporters of a new company that is looking into that very subject. The non-profit OpenAI says it has received commitments of $1 billion from Musk and other backers.

In its announcement, OpenAI stated:

Our 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. Since our research is free from financial obligations, we 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. The outcome of this venture is uncertain and the work is difficult, but we believe the goal and the structure are right. We hope this is what matters most to the best in the field.

Musk will serve as a co-chairman of OpenAI, along with Sam Altman, president of the Y Combinator. Other companies that have promised to back OpenAI with money include Amazon Web Services and Infosys.

Source: OpenAI