When somebody reaches the enormous success Elon Musk already has, most of what they say can be overanalyzed, that’s a risk. People pay attention to all the information such a person might provide because they can learn the trends of the future. There’s a risk to that, because self-fulfilling prophecies are not totally unheard of in the technological field.
Elon Musk is one of the most successful tech entrepreneur and he talks about a potential AI threat. Hailed as a visionary, Musk founded or backed some of the most future oriented tech business, starting with Paypal and ending with SpaceX. Musk tends to revolutionize every business category he sets his mind on. Tesla Motors already pushes the car industry into embedding the latest technological advanced into auto vehicles. SpaceX is still in its infancy, but Musk promises manned flights to Mars in the 2020s. So what Musk says about the future can hardly be ignored.
Yesterday, Elon Musk tweeted “Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”
We already fear the cold cruelty of the intelligent machine since the 1980s, thanks to the Terminator. Futurama’s Bender is another gruesome example of how the machines of the future will interact with humans. But actually having a present day technological guru stating it makes us take it more seriously.
Later during the same day, Musk added more on the same idea. “Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable”. Obviously, the story is older than the Matrix, but still worth posing.
Elon Musk warns about potential AI threat but is not taken too seriously
ELon Musk is not saying something completely novel. What we can learn out of it regards the need to actually have a meaningful ongoing debate. Tesla’s owner expressed similar concerns just a couple of months ago and Stephen Hawking shared the anxieties. But many take these worries as nothing too serious. One reason would be that we might self-destruct ourselves through pollution before the machine will kneel us, as venture-capitalist Roger McNamee declared for CNBC. Musk tries to stay ahead of the game by investing in Vicarious, an AI start-up which aims to come up with next generation AI algorithms. With his involvement in Vicarious, will Musk prevent a potential AI threat or will he be a part of it unwittingly?