Tech giants are funding a defensive war chest to protect against rogue AI

Not just one but two of today's super rich tech kingpins have donated to a fund designed to keep future artificial intelligences safe, each putting in a stake of $10m to keep watch of developments in the AI world and ensure one doesn't go rogue and wipe us out by turning the central heating systems of the world to absolute zero. 

Half of the money's been staked by Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, so expect any future AIs to completely fail to take "no" for an answer, with the other half coming from the presumably enormously deep pockets of the Omidyar Network -- the non-profit business owned by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. 

Together they're bankrolling a $27m Good AI team called the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund that's being managed by the MIT and Harvard tech-focused universities, with the ambition of making sure that a wide range of voices are heard when it comes to affecting how AIs are developed and used. 

Judgement day

Harvard's division, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, stresses how it even wants philosophers and faith leaders to have a say in the direction any AIs might take, which is quite reassuring to know that the computer brains of the future won't be entirely geared towards better serving us advertising or procedurally generating fake news for clicks. 

The core concept is a desire to connect "human values with technical capabilities" so that any super intelligences are as equally stressed about things they can't control as their inventors. 

The Knight Foundation has thrown in a few million too, with its president Alberto Ibargüen explaining: "Even algorithms have parents, and those parents are computer programmers, with their values and assumptions. Those values – who gets to determine what they are and who controls their application – will help define the digital age." 

Basically no one wants the future world to controlled by an AI clone of Mark Zuckerberg, so here's lots of money.