Artificial Intelligence will not be stopped, and the smartest guys in the room know it. Billionaire Mark Cuban, of Shark Tank and Dallas Mavericks fame, is starting to focus his resources on this transformational technology.
Cuban teamed up with Microsoft and Walmart to create a program that will give coming generations a head start on the rise of AI. The Mark Cuban Foundation created an “AI Bootcamp” which aims to give Dallas public school students knowledge and experience working with the latest tech, according to a blog post published today.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 22, 2019
Artificial Intelligence Is Already Impacting Us
Cuban released a statement today saying,
“AI is no longer something in the future. It’s changing every industry today. I wanted to start by educating the kids who will be making the decisions about how AI will impact society.”
The AI Bootcamp reflects Cuban’s sentiment earlier this year when he stressed the importance of education on the subject.
“If you don’t know how to use it and you don’t understand it and you can’t at least at have a basic understanding of the different approaches and how the algorithms work, you can be blindsided in ways you couldn’t even possibly imagine.”
Cuban has previously predicted that AI will have a massive impact on society, at one point saying its impact will “dwarf” that of PCs and the Internet.
Mark Cuban is Not the Only Billionaire Submerged in AI
Meanwhile, another billionaire, Elon Musk, is also making strides to get ahead of the technology. Microsoft announced today that it would invest $1 billion in Musk’s OpenAI project. The project will apply the funding toward the advancement of AGI (artificial general intelligence).
OpenAI released a statement today explaining the importance of their work.
“An AGI will be a system capable of mastering a field of study to the world-expert level and mastering more fields than any one human-like a tool which combines the skills of Curie, Turing, and Bach. An AGI working on a problem would be able to see connections across disciplines that no human could… We believe that the creation of beneficial AGI will be the most important technological development in human history.”
AI for Good
Cuban and Musk aim to benefit both society at large and those on the margins with their new projects. The Mark Cuban Foundation prioritizes low-income applicants, and half the accepted participants are female. OpenAI aims to “ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.”
Cuban also announced earlier this year that he would invest $1 million into an AI startup that protects Syrian refugees.
I’m excited to announce my $1 million investment in @HalaSystems. Hala uses AI for social good to do truly extraordinary work in the world's toughest places. More here: https://t.co/j39EAFK4eO and https://t.co/pvkr3lTKNK
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 24, 2019
AI for Bad
While both men are making admirable attempts to educate and integrate AI into our society in a healthy way, it’s important to note why. Both men have expressed grave concerns about the potential dark side of the technology.
In 2014, Musk labeled AI humanity’s “biggest existential threat,” and likened it to “summoning a demon.”
In 2018, Cuban’s outlook didn’t look much better.
“Let me scare the **it out of you, all right. If you don’t think by the time most of you are in your mid-40s that a Terminator will appear, you’re crazy.”
Let’s hope these guys know what they’re doing.