Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and the mind behind SpaceX, has spoken out against artificial intelligence (AI), warning against a Judgment Day that sounds like something out of a Terminator movie. While Musk may not be worried about SkyNet taking over all machines, he does believe that unregulated AI could be a serious threat against the survival of humans.
While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducting an interview at the AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, Musk was talking about the colonization of the planet Mars, space exploration, computer science and AI when he made the comment about being extremely careful about how artificial intelligence is potentially the biggest existential threat to the human race. Musk believes that there should be some sort of oversight from a regulatory committee either at the international or national level. This would be to ensure that something foolish is not done, or unleashed.
Musk has been called a real life Tony Stark, the alter ego to Marvel Comic’s armor clad Avenger, Iron Man. This is due to his state of the art companies like SpaceX and Tesla. SpaceX is a private space transit company that has been delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and will soon be shuttling astronauts to the ISS. Tesla is the electric car company that is taking the automotive world by storm with technology reminiscent of something the fictional Stark might have created.
Acting as oversight, or a watchdog, Musk has been keeping a close eye on the developments of AI and not focused on any viable return on capital. Musk made the comment that developing AI, it is like summoning the demon. Pointing out stories of a guy summoning a demon with the intent on controlling the beast, and it never working out is something that Musk is worried about. It appears that Musk is sending a warning against a potential outcome like Judgment Day in the Terminator movies.
Beyond warning the world about safe AI, the entrepreneur spoke about a trip to the red planet, Mars. Colonization of Mars likely will be the future of humanity, and the Tesla CEO though the idea of singular missions to the red planet was cool. Musk believes that his company SpaceX will be a primary partner in a mission to Mars.
Building a computer that can think like a human being may seem exciting to consumers. The thought of having a droid helping with every day tasks or a companion like Star Wars R2-D2 or C-3PO is a neat idea, The man behind Space X appears more concerned and is warning against something more like a robotic killing machine from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. However, it appears his fellow investors, actor Ashton Kutcher and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, are more intent on seeing a computer that can think and act like a human, with a neural network of cpus and wires replicating brain functions controlling speech, movement and vision. All involved with the project do not want to see Musk’s fears come true, however, Hollywood may have added enough of a seed in peoples minds that machines taking control may be a valid concern.
By Carl Auer