If the robots take over, at least Elon Musk will be able to say "I told you so." The billionaire inventor loves to make the impossible possible, but he is deeply afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). On Twitter this weekend, Musk said that "we need to be super careful with AI," adding that they are "potentially more dangerous than nukes."
If that weren't concerning enough, Musk followed up his statement with another tweet that read: "Hope we're not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable." Both are scary enough — one compares sentient networked robots with the most dangerous weapon on earth, and the other suggests we're merely the fleshy precursors to robot dominance.
Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 3, 2014
While on the subject of AI risk, Our Final Invention by @jrbarrat is also worth reading— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 3, 2014
Hope we're not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 3, 2014
This isn't the first time that Musk has let known his feelings on AI. In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, Musk said that we should be incredibly careful when developing such systems, and he jokingly cited Terminator as an example of what could happen if we mess up.
It isn't hard to imagine what a doomsday scenario could look like — especially with Google snatching up Boston Dynamics, makers of the creepiest robots on earth, and an artificial intelligence company called DeepMind. Futurist and artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil (who happens to be employed by Google), offers a different argument than Musk. "In my view, biological humans will not be outpaced by the AIs because they (we) will enhance themselves (ourselves) with AI," Kurzweil said earlier this year. "It will not be us versus the machines ... but rather, we will enhance our own capacity by merging with our intelligent creations."
Musk, for his part, doesn't seem to be writing off AIs completely — he just wants us to be careful. After all, he thinks Teslas will largely be driving themselves in just a couple of years.