The Companies Pioneering Artificial Intelligence and Whether or Not We Should Be, Well, Terrified

Efforts to regulate A.I. might be leading us towards a ‘Sci-Fi movie ending’ we’re all too familiar with.

Reza Jafery
4 min readSep 10, 2019


Elon Musk recently issued an ominous warning about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). A warning made more ominous by the fact that it comes from a person whom we’d assume has his finger on the pulse of the industry.

“I tried to convince people to slow down, slow down A.I., to regulate A.I. This was futile. I tried for years. Nobody listened.” — Elon Musk

If one of the smartest and most traditionally successful people on this planet is scared of something, should the rest of us be concerned?

Mr. Musk has been warning us about the potential dangers of an unbridled pursuit of artificial intelligence for some time now. Earlier this year, he told an interviewer at South by Southwest that he saw A.I. as more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

In this article, I capitalize Artificial Intelligence when discussing the practice or industry, and use lower-case, ‘artificial intelligence’, to describe the products of the practice — the A.I. itself.

OpenAI: the company that wants to save us from ourselves

Since the previously mentioned interview aired, there have been several steps towards improving our general understanding of A.I., the majority of which have been made by a company called OpenAI.

OpenAI LP is a for-profit corporation, founded by Musk and Sam Altman (Former Y Combinator president). Their mission is to, “ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) — by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work — benefits all of humanity.’ They plan on doing so by attempting to, “directly build safe and beneficial AGI”. But have stated they would also consider their mission to be successful if their work helped other companies or individuals achieve the same outcome.

While the mission statement focuses on “ensuring A.I. benefits all of humanity”, the ominous undertones of Elon Musk warning of an eventual…



Reza Jafery

Ops @ PubDAO / Community @ Reflexer / Product @ Decrypt. Trying to change the rules and create a positive sum game.