February 26, 2024

Silicon Valley and beyond has been focused on the development of technology that mimics human brains for over a decade, before the recent upsurge in interest in artificial intelligence. Key players in the modern AI movement include Sam Altman, who is the chief executive of OpenAI, and Dario Amodei, an AI researcher who runs the AI start-up Anthropic. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, was initially skeptical of AI but became a convert after witnessing the power of OpenAI’s GPT-4. Demis Hassabis, a neuroscientist, is the founder of the important AI lab DeepMind. Geoffrey Hinton, a professor at the University of Toronto, was responsible for neural networks, a key technology of the AI wave. Elon Musk, the leader of Tesla and SpaceX, helped establish OpenAI and has been concerned about AI’s potential dangers. Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, has spearheaded investments in OpenAI. Google’s co-founder Larry Page and Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have both been proponents of AI and sought to acquire AI-related companies. The early A.I. labs received key funding from Peter Thiel, a PayPal executive turned venture capitalist, and Eliezer Yudkowsky, an internet philosopher and self-taught A.I. researcher, played a significant role in shaping the thinking around the technology.

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