Tesla's Elon Musk named co-chair for non-profit firm researching artificial intelligence
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks about new Autopilot features during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California on Oct. 14, 2015. (Photo by Beck Diefenbach for Reuters)

Elon Musk, chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla Motors, on Friday unveiled OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company that is backed by other prominent names from the technology world.

"Our goal is to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return," a blog post on OpenAI's website said.

The non-profit will be co-chaired by Musk and technology venture capitalist Sam Altman, who has backed Reddit.

OpenAI's list of donors include PayPal Holding Inc co-founder Peter Thiel, LinkedIn Corp co-founder Reid Hoffman and Musk himself among others.

They have committed $1 billion for the fledgling firm, but OpenAI said it expects to spend a "tiny fraction" of that amount in the next few years.

Other backers include Amazon.com Inc's cloud unit Amazon Web Services, Indian IT giant Infosys and Greg Brockman, former chief technology officer of payments startup Stripe.

Brockman is OpenAI's chief technology officer.

(Reporting by Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)