OpenAI today announced the creation of OpenAI LP, a for-profit company that will be owned and controlled by the OpenAI nonprofit organization's board of directors. The new Delaware-based limited partnership was created to speed progress toward OpenAI's goal of advancing AI and eventually creating safe artificial general intelligence (AGI) system. OpenAI LP plans to raise and invest billions of dollars in the years ahead. Unlike narrow artificial intelligence common today, which can predict the probability of outcomes or recommend content in your Facebook News Feed, OpenAI defines AGI as a highly autonomous system able to outperform humans at most tasks. Sam Altman will serve as CEO of the new entity, while Greg Brockman will act as CTO and Ilya Sutskever as chief scientist.
One of the poorest-kept secrets in Silicon Valley has been the huge salaries and bonuses that experts in artificial intelligence can command. Now, a little-noticed tax filing by a research lab called OpenAI has made some of those eye-popping figures public. OpenAI paid its top researcher, Ilya Sutskever, more than $1.9 million in 2016. It paid another leading researcher, Ian Goodfellow, more than $800,000 -- even though he was not hired until March of that year. Both were recruited from Google.
In February, artificial intelligence research startup OpenAI announced the creation of GPT-2, an algorithm capable of writing impressively coherent paragraphs of text. But rather than release the AI in its entirety, the team shared only a smaller model out of fear that people would use the more robust tool maliciously -- to produce fake news articles or spam, for example. But on Tuesday, OpenAI published a blog post announcing its decision to release the algorithm in full as it has "seen no strong evidence of misuse so far." According to OpenAI's post, the company did see some "discussion" regarding the potential use of GPT-2 for spam and phishing, but it never actually saw evidence of anyone misusing the released versions of the algorithm. The problem might be that, while GPT-2 is one of -- if not the -- best text-generating AIs in existence, it still can't produce content that's indistinguishable from text written by a human.
OpenAI today announced the launch of Spinning Up, a program designed to teach anyone deep reinforcement learning. OpenAI is well known for making funky-looking agents in virtual environments that learn how to walk on their own such as Humanoid v2 or POLO, a collaboration with University of Washington. Reinforcement learning involves providing reward signals to an agent in an environment incentivized to maximize its reward to meet a goal. RL has played a role in major AI breakthroughs such as Google DeepMind's AlphaGo and agents trained in environments like Dota 2. Spinning Up includes a collection of important reinforcement learning research papers, a glossary of terminology necessary to understand RL, and a collection of algorithms for running exercises. The program is being launched not just to help people learn how reinforcement learning works, but to make progress towards OpenAI's general goal of safely creating artificial general intelligence (AGI) by involving more people from fields beyond computer science.