Elon Musk: "We should be very careful about artificial intelligence."

Elon Musk, purveyor of electric cars and rocket ships, is a much more wary of artificial intelligence. "With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon," said the SpaceX CEO this week.

Elon Musk, as CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is no stranger to future-minded technology. But the purveyor of rocket ships and electric cars has his doubts about one sci-fi innovation on the cusp of becoming reality: artificial intelligence. As Matt MacFarland of the Washington Post notes, Musk has argued in the past that AI is a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear weapons. On Friday, he explored the topic more in-depth while speaking at MIT:


"I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out."

Musk obviously sees mankind's pursuit of artificial intelligence as a potentially Faustian pursuit. Like the literary doctor, science runs the risk of its quest for greatness bringing about its ultimate downfall. When asked whether his words meant we shouldn't expect to see Hal 9000 installed on a rocket to Mars, Musk warned that the most dangerous iterations of man-made AI would make the 2001 computer look like "a puppy dog."

Watch the clip below to learn why Elon Musk is betting on solar energy, from his Big Think interview:

Read more at The Washington Post

Photo credit: Mopic / Shutterstock

Related Articles

A controversial theory claims past, present, and future exist at the same time

Our experience of time may be blinding us to its true nature, say scientists.

Back to the Future.
Surprising Science
  • Time may not be passing at all, says the Block Universe Theory.
  • Time travel may be possible.
  • Your perception of time is likely relative to you and limited.
Keep reading Show less

Six disastrous encounters with the world’s most hostile uncontacted tribe

From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.

Culture & Religion
  • Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
  • But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
  • Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
Keep reading Show less