OpenAI is a non-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company, associated with business magnate Elon Musk, that aims to carefully promote and develop open-source friendly AI in such a way as to benefit, rather than harm, humanity as a whole. The organization aims to “freely collaborate” with other institutions and researchers by making its patents and research open to the public. The company is supported by over US$1 billion in commitments; however, only a tiny fraction of the $1 billion pledged is expected to be spent in the first few years. Many of the employees and board members are motivated by concerns about existential risk from artificial general intelligence. (wiki)
So why OpenAI?
Scientists believe that if advanced AI gains the ability to re-design itself someday that at an ever-increasing rate, an unstoppable ‘Intelligence explosion‘ would lead to human extinction.
Elon Musk poses the question: “what is the best thing we can do to ensure the future is good? We could sit on the sidelines or we can encourage regulatory oversight, or we could participate with the right structure with people who care deeply about developing AI in a way that is safe and is beneficial to humanity.”
The OpenAI Gym includes environments to simulate situations for your AI to learn from, as well as a site to compare and reproduce results. The tools are designed for use with Reinforcement Learning (RL), one of the technologies used to develop Google’s AlphaGo AI that defeated Go world champion Lee Se-Dol recently. RL works on the principle that a bot will receive a reward every time it completes an action successfully – similar to how you might train a dog.
The environments available in the OpenAI gym include classic control problems like driving a car up a hill, text -based challenges like learning to win at roulette and even Atari games like Asteroids, Air Raid, and Pitfall.
They’re currently available to experiment with in Python; OpenAI says they will soon update them to work with any language, and expand the collection of environments as well.
Visit OpenAI for getting started.