(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and other technology entrepreneurs are betting that talented researchers, provided enough freedom and money, can develop artificial intelligence systems as advanced as those being built by the sprawling teams at Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Along the way, they’d like to save humanity from oblivion.

The pair are among the backers of OpenAI, a nonprofit company introduced Friday that will research novel artificial intelligence systems and share its findings. Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Sam Altman, president of the Y Combinator, will serve as co-chairman. The nonprofit has received financial backing from Musk, Thiel, co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc., Reid Hoffman and others as well as companies including Amazon Web Services and Infosys.

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