It’s New Year’s Eve which means time to reflect on the previous year and make resolutions for the future. I may be biased, but I think one of the most exciting things about the future is new technology. And one of the most fun ways to speculate about new tech is through science fiction. Many sci-fi themes revolve around machines rising up against humans. As technology advances this becomes a more real possibility, especially if we succeed in creating artificially intelligent systems. A couple weeks ago, a new initiative in the field was announced called OpenAI. One major premise behind it is mitigating the risks of artificial intelligence by allowing the collective genius and inherent morality of society to control the potential risks of artificial intelligence. In addition OpenAI is non-profit which means that its research will truly be done for the benefit of the field rather than personal gain. These two things in combination will hopefully result in artificial intelligence that is designed in the best interest of humanity. Ideally OpenAI technology will be used by the public in the same way and overall these users will be able to help combat any technologies created for nefarious purposes. Still, you have to wonder if this reasoning makes sense. Does providing AI to the world in an effort to improve our lives and advance human society outweigh the risks of providing everyone with the means to create their own application for artificial intelligence? I certainly don’t know the answer but I like the idea of artificial intelligence being accessible on an individual level.