Elon Musk warns 'advanced A.I.' will soon manipulate social media
Musk also said that "anonymous bot swarms" should be investigated.
FilmMagic / Getty
- On Thursday, Musk tweeted about the potential dangers of advanced A.I. manipulating social media.
- It's unclear what prompted Musk to tweet about advanced A.I., but his tweets came hours after The New York Times published an article about digital disinformation campaigns.
- Musk has a history of being rather pessimistic about the future of A.I.
Twitter bots in 2019 can perform some basic functions, like tweeting content, retweeting, following other users, quoting other users, liking tweets and even sending direct messages. But even though bots on Twitter and other social media seem to be getting smarter than previous iterations, these A.I. are still relatively unsophisticated in terms of how well they can manipulate social discourse.
But it's only a matter of time before more advanced A.I. changes begins manipulating the conversation on a large scale, according to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
"If advanced A.I. (beyond basic bots) hasn't been applied to manipulate social media, it won't be long before it is," Musk tweeted on Thursday morning.
If advanced AI (beyond basic bots) hasn’t been applied to manipulate social media, it won’t be long before it is— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1569477335.0
It's unclear exactly what Musk is referring to by "advanced A.I." but his tweet come just hours after The New York Times published an article outlining a study showing that at least 70 countries have experienced digital disinformation campaigns over the past two years.
"In recent years, governments have used 'cyber troops' to shape public opinion, including networks of bots to amplify a message, groups of "trolls" to harass political dissidents or journalists, and scores of fake social media accounts to misrepresent how many people engaged with an issue," Davey Alba and Adam Satariano wrote for the Times. "The tactics are no longer limited to large countries. Smaller states can now easily set up internet influence operations as well."
Musk followed up his tweet by saying that "anonymous bot swarms" — presumably referring to coordinated activity by a large number of social media bots — should be investigated.
"If they're evolving rapidly, something's up," he tweeted.
Musk has long predicted a gloomy future with AI. In 2017, he told staff at Neuralink – Musk's company that's developing an implantable brain-computer interface – that he thinks there's about "a five to 10 percent chance" of making artificial intelligence safe. In the documentary "Do You Trust Your Computer?", Musk warned of the dangers of a single organization someday developing superintelligence.
"The least scary future I can think of is one where we have at least democratized AI because if one company or small group of people manages to develop godlike digital superintelligence, they could take over the world," Musk said.
"At least when there's an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there would be no death. It would live forever. And then you'd have an immortal dictator from which we can never escape."
What would happen if you tripled the US population? Matthew Yglesias and moderator Charles Duhigg explore the idea on Big Think Live.
Is immigration key to bolstering the American economy? Could having one billion Americans secure the US's position as the global superpower?
A strange weakness in the Earth's protective magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
- "The South Atlantic Anomaly" in the Earth's magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
- The information was gathered by the ESA's Swarm Constellation mission satellites.
- The changes may indicate the coming reversal of the North and South Poles.
Is the Magnetic Field Reversing?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e3e0b16dac3b05dab808a4ddf04d198b"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/51usJ74pPP8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Researchers detect a large lake and several ponds deep under the ice of the Martian South Pole.
- Italian scientists release findings of a large underground lake and three ponds below the South Pole of Mars.
- The lake might contain water, with salt preventing them from freezing.
- The presence of water may indicate the existence of microbial and other life forms on the planet.
Mars colony: Humanity's greatest quest | Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, & more | Big Think<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa931ba0f8c1152a7c32c5e09c55d138"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KfKr5Jll88o?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
"Nothing but naked people: fat ones, thin ones, old, young…"
"The Yellow Sands", 1888, John Reinhard Weguelin; source: Wikimedia Commons<h3>Naked revolution</h3><p>Yet long before anyone knew about beach fashion, naturism was trendy. Bathing naked in the sea was going on in England as early as 1840. However, during the reign of Queen Victoria, this pleasure was outlawed. But it popped up again among the conservative Germans. In 1898, the first Naturist Club was founded in Essen and in 1900 the Wandering Birds group (<em>Wandervögel</em>) was scouring the country for uninhabited places and naked sunbathing. In the same year, Heinrich Pudor wrote <em>The C</em><em>ult of </em><em>the </em><em>Nud</em><em>e</em>, winning the hearts of contemporary supporters of naturism.</p><p>In the 1920s, on the back of this, members of the Movement for Natural Healing (<em>Naturheilbewegung</em>) organized naked sunbathing for the improvement of health. Persuaded by Pudor's theory of the healing properties of the sun and wind, which could be absorbed through the skin, they launched the naked revolution.</p><p>Pudor's book became the naturists' manifesto and soon after, not far from Hamburg, the Free Body Culture (<em>Freikörperkultur</em>, or FKK) movement was founded. This spread through other German centres and brought together thousands of people. The FKK still operates under the same name today.</p><p>The cult of the naked body even wrote itself into the ideology of fascist Germany, which advocated a pure, Aryan race. But in 1933, Hermann Göring issued an order that defined nudity as "the greatest threat to the German soul" and, with that, criminalized naturist organizations. But this wasn't the end of the movement. The naturists went underground, continuing their activities under the guise of improving physical fitness.</p><p>In 1936, the idea was even floated of having a naturist display to open the Berlin Olympic Games. It was quickly dropped. Despite this, in 1939 the naturists managed to organize their own Games in the Swiss village of Thielle.</p>