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Elon Musk working on household robot and powerful AI software

by Jacob Kleinman | June 22, 2016June 22, 2016 1:00 pm PDT

elon musk

What’s next for the man who already makes electric cars and spaceships? Elon Musk recently revealed plans to develop a smart household robot through OpenAI, a non-profit research firm where he serves as co-chair.

In an online post signed by Musk and three other high-profile members, OpenAI lays out its plans for the near future. The most exciting item is that robot, which could act as a “general-purpose” assistant around the house. It would be made using off-the-shelf parts and feature learning algorithms to improve over time. The group also notes that robotics can serve as a great “testbed” for various AI-related challenges.

OpenAI is also developing AI software that can understand natural language beyond what’s currently available. That includes carrying out a full conversation and reading documents. Additionally, the group wants to create an AI agent capable of solving a wide variety of games— like Google’s AlphaGo software but with a broader focus.

OpenAI isn’t a commercial company and its robot won’t be available to buy anytime soon. But if the project is a success Musk certainly has the capability to quickly shift into mass production.

OpenAI CNET Heisenberg Media (Flickr)

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...