Elon Musk did it again and this time he’s not showing a new product in front of a roaring crowd. Instead, he’s kicking it up a notch and officially shares his opinion on the next level of Artificial Intelligence.
His latest tweets now show a pessimism that is both remarkable and quite unusual for a multifaceted character like him. In short, his latest disaster scenario is the most pessimistic ever.
What happened these days that Musk so bluntly tells everyone that doomsday is nigh? Yesterday, he expressed his fear of an existential threat to humanity more drastically than before by responding to messages made by Russian President Vladimir Putin:
This striving for ultimate digital supremacy could very likely trigger a third world war. Musk has been very outspoken about this topic for quite some time now and his verbal back and forth with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on social media has been interesting, to say the least. Musk concluded that Zuckerberg, who found AI to be much less threatening, just had a “limited understanding” of the topic and its consequences.
Musk isn’t the only entrepreneurs in the US demanding strong regulation of any artificial intelligence. Even Stephen Hawking warns that artificial intelligence "could spell the end of the human race".
In a strong and political statement, Musk added that "Governments don't have to follow normal laws [and] They would, if necessary, also force companies to make their AI technology available to them.”
Apparently, Elon Musk knows more than meets the eye of the public. It’s no exaggeration to claim that this man has seen many disruptive and experimental technologies up until now and his fear is growing for a reason. At half past four in the morning he seems forced to answer the Russian Bell as Putin said that AI can be seen as "the future, not only for Russia, but for humanity […] It comes with great possibilities, but also with threats that are difficult to predict [and] Whoever becomes the leader in this domain will become the ruler of the world".
That’s a massive understatement if you read Elon Musk’s further explanation that above possibilities include the rational decision of machines to not only decide for themselves but decide when and where to attack other countries. In his opinion, a new world war could likely be initiated not by heads of a state, but by an artificial program once it calculates that a preemptive strike would be the best way to victory.
He’s not downplaying a potential nuclear threat from North Korea but believes that we have to rethink the list of possible downfalls to our civilization. In August, Musk already wrote that AI poses a much more likely risk to us than an isolated albeit unpredictable North Korea.
It’s true of course, that he has an AI company himself, but he still remains one of the biggest critics of an unregulated research. His Open AI company conducts it in the field of artificial intelligence and whatever they’ll find on their journey to bringing this technology to market, we can be sure that Tesla’s CEO will remain on of its harshest critics. The next years will be important to our survival and how we face the next phase of our digital transformation. So, keeping an eye on Musk’s Twitter Account looks like a wise decision.
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