Elon Musk Warns Artificial Intelligence Is Like ‘Summoning the Demon’

27 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Building intelligent machines is like summoning the demon’: Elon Musk warns AI is mankind’s biggest threat.

Elon Musk warned in no uncertain terms recently that the invention of artificially intelligent machines could pose the “biggest existential threat” to mankind. He may be one of the driving forces behind super-intelligent computers that could improve everything from space travel to electric cars, but Elon Musk has likened artificial intelligence to ‘summoning the demon’.Musk made the comments to students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) during an interview at the AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, talking about computer science, AI, space exploration and the colonisation of Mars. “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence.

It’s hard to call Elon Musk a technophobe — the Tesla CEO has been a vocal proponent of space exploration, the electric car and something called a “hyperloop.” But there’s one bit of future tech Musk isn’t so keen on: artificial intelligence. Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, spoke with unusual force about the perils of a technology that could quickly spin out of its inventors’ control during an MIT symposium on Friday, the Washington Post reports. “With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon,” he said. “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. Cambridge professor and heralded physicist Stephen Hawking, for instance, is in Musk’s camp, saying AI may turn out to be our best and last creation.

Doesn’t work out.” Of course, we’ve all seen plenty of big-budget sci-fi warnings about havoc-wreaking robots, but Musk has actually been pretty consistent with his AI phobia. Didn’t work out.” The business magnate, inventor and investor, who is also CEO and CTO of SpaceX, and chairman of SolarCity, has warned about artificial intelligence before, which he believes could be more threatening than nuclear weapons. Then there’s tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreesen, who tweeted that he’s “increasingly convinced [Musk] simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about” and that anybody feeling “freaked out” about it should read this piece from the engineering geeks at IEEE Spectrum. Doesn’t work out.’ Tweeting a recommendation for a book by Nick Bostrom called Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies that looks at a robot uprising, he wrote: ‘We need to be super careful with AI. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.” During his MIT appearance Musk also discussed his company SpaceX’s plans to help populate Mars. “It’s cool to send one mission to Mars, but that’s not what will change the future for humanity,” he said. “What matters is being able to establish a self-sustaining civilisation on Mars, and I don’t see anything being done but SpaceX.

Potentially more dangerous than nukes.’ The book asks questions about how humanity will cope with super-intelligent computers and argues that humans are living in a computer simulation and not the ‘real’ world. But Mr Hassabis has also predicted that AI machines will learn “basic vision, basic sound processing, basic movement control, and basic language abilities” by the end of the decade. A recent Computerworld article noted that while there’ve been a lot of developments on specific aspects of AI, other pieces of the puzzle haven’t seen any recent progress.

That purchase – Google’s largest European acquisition – came just months after it bought Boston Dynamics, a firm that produces life-like military robots. He talked at length about the problems and potential solutions around a colony on Mars, saying humanity’s survival hinges on becoming a “multi-planet species.” In October 2013, the company announced it had developed an algorithm that ‘reliably’ solves modern Captchas – the world’s most widely used test of a machine’s ability to act human. Dr Stuart Armstrong, from the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, has warned that artificial intelligence could spur mass unemployment as machinery replaces manpower.

Professor Stephen Hawking has also warned that humanity faces an uncertain future as technology learns to think for itself and adapt to its environment. The South African-born multi-millionaire’s CV includes online payments system PayPal, electronic car manufacturer Tesla Motors, and Hyperloop – his proposal for a near-supersonic transport link between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Earlier this year, the renowned physicist discusses Johnny Depp’s latest film Transcendence, which delves into a world where computers can surpass the abilities of humans.

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