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Oscar Williams

News editor

OpenAI’s Greg Brockman predicts that domestic robots will be a reality within two years

Intelligent robots will be whizzing around our homes within the next two years, according to one of Silicon Valley’s AI visionaries.

Open AI co-founder Greg Brockman estimates that machine learning will soon pave the way for robot helpers that can operate without being fully pre-programmed.

“Within the next couple of years we should have software you can deploy on a robot that can go throughout your house and perform tasks,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

“It will be able to handle some situations that are not fully pre-programmed, such as dealing with the fact that someone left the door open,” he said.

Brockman said AI would lead to a balance between job destruction and job creation, and suggested the best applications would augment work carried out by humans.

The 28-year-old, who shares the title of co-founder with Elon Musk, said the most successful use cases so far have been in the field of marketing.

“You can now target ads really directly,” he said. “It didn’t mean that marketing is no longer a job; it meant that marketers became that much more effective.”

Like Musk, Brockman is concerned about the prospect of AI machines behaving in a way that goes beyond their intended purpose.

“If you get it wrong then you’re really talking about building these very capable systems that have goals that aren’t quite aligned with us,” he said.

“With most technologies, the way we think about it is that you build it first and then you see how it breaks,” he added. “With artificial intelligence, there’s a decent chance that we’re going to have only one chance to get it right.”