Who’s who behind the modern artificial intelligence movement

Who’s who behind the modern artificial intelligence movement

While artificial intelligence has taken center stage over the past year, technology that can appear to function like human brains has been a priority for researchers, investors and tech executives in Silicon Valley and beyond for more than a decade.

These are some of the people involved in the origins of the modern AI movement who have influenced the development of the technology.

Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Altman is the CEO of OpenAI, the San Francisco AI lab that created the ChatGPT chatbot that went viral over the past year and ushered in recognition of the power of generative AI. Altman helped start OpenAI after meeting Elon Musk about the technology in 2015. At the time, Altman ran Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley startup incubator.

Credit…Massimo Berruti for The New York Times

Amodei, an AI researcher who joined OpenAI early on, runs AI startup Anthropic. A former Google researcher, he helped establish OpenAI’s research direction but left in 2021 after disagreements over the path the company was taking. That year he founded Anthropic, which is dedicated to creating secure artificial intelligence systems.

Credit…Calla Kessler for The New York Times

Mr. Gates, founder of Microsoft and for many years the richest man in the world, he was long skeptical about how powerful AI could become. Then, in August 2022, he received a demo of OpenAI’s GPT-4, the AI ​​model underlying ChatGPT. After seeing what GPT-4 could do, Gates became a convert to AI. His endorsement helped Microsoft take aggressive steps to capitalize on generative AI.

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Mr. Hassabis, a neuroscientist, is one of the founders of DeepMind, one of the most important laboratories of this wave of AI. He got financial backing from investor Peter Thiel to create DeepMind and built a lab that produced AlphaGo, an AI software that shocked the world. world in 2016 when he beat the best player in the world in the board game Go. (Hassabis was an award-winning chess player as a teenager.) Google bought Britain-based DeepMind in 2014, and Hassabis is one of the company’s top artificial intelligence executives.

Credit…Chloe Ellingson for The New York Times

Hinton, a professor at the University of Toronto, and two of his graduate students were responsible for neural networks, a key underlying technology of this wave of AI. Neural networks captivated the tech industry, and Google quickly agreed to pay Hinton and the Crew cost $44 million in 2012 to bring them on board, surpassing Microsoft and Baidu, a Chinese technology company.

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Hoffman, a former PayPal executive who founded LinkedIn and became a venture capitalist, was, along with Musk and Thiel, part of a group that invested $1 billion in OpenAI.

Credit…Amir Hamja/The New York Times

Musk, who runs Tesla and founded SpaceX, he helped establish OpenAI in 2015. He has long been concerned about the potential dangers of AI. At the time, he sought to position OpenAI, a nonprofit, as a more ethical counterweight to other technology companies. Musk left OpenAI in 2018 after disagreements with Altman.

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Microsoft CEO Nadella led the company’s investments in OpenAI in 2019 and this year, committing $13 billion to the startup over that period. Since then, Microsoft has gone all-in on AI, incorporating OpenAI technology into its Bing search engine and many of its other products.

Credit…Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Page, who founded Google with Sergey Brin, has long been an advocate for AI and its benefits. He drove Google’s acquisition of DeepMind in 2014. Page has a more optimistic view of AI than others, telling Silicon Valley executives that robots and humans will one day live in harmony.

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Thiel, a PayPal executive turned venture capitalist who made much of his fortune with an early investment in Facebook, was a key investor in early artificial intelligence labs. He invested money in DeepMind and, later, OpenAI.

Credit…Jason Henry for The New York Times

Yudkowsky, an Internet philosopher and self-taught AI researcher, helped seed much of the philosophical thinking around this technology. He was a leader in a community who called themselves rationalists or, in later years, effective altruists, and who believed in the power of AI but also feared that the technology could destroy people. Yudkowsky organized an annual conference (funded by Thiel) on AI, where Hassabis met with Thiel and secured his support for DeepMind.

Credit…Loren Elliott for The New York Times

Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has been pushing AI for at least a decade. Recognizing the power of technology, he attempted to buy DeepMind, before Google made the winning bid. He then embarked on a hiring spree to bring AI talent to Facebook.

The report was contributed by Cade Metz, Karen Weiss, Nico Grant and mike isaac.

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John C. Johnson

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