Elon Musk Sees Artificial Intelligence As Biggest Risk To Society

Gladys Abbott
July 17, 2017

Speaking at the 2017 National Governor's Association meeting in Rhode Island on Saturday, serial tech entrepreneur Elon Musk told state leaders that more than half of new cars being produced will be electric in ten years, and nearly all of them will be fully autonomous self-driving vehicles.

"On the artificial intelligence front, I have access to the very most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it", Musk said, reports Fortune.

What makes this latest turn as a tech Cassandra most interesting is that he was addressing American politicians at the National Governors Association conference in Rhode Island - and actively calling for political intervention.

"That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilisation".

Musk, a vocal proponent of AI who helped form OpenAI, a nonprofit research group that backs the safe rollout of the emerging technology, also called for the creation of a regulatory body to guide development of the powerful technology, The Wall Street Journal reported.

'AI is the rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive.

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Musk estimated that we'll have to wait a bit longer before we see a significant change in the types of vehicles on the road, but two decades from now, he expects an overwhelming portion of vehicles to be electric and fully autonomous. He warned US governors that AI is "fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization" and asked them to oversee the technology's development. So for example, a smart vehicle, which is powered by artificial intelligence, the future envisions a situation where there will be little or no human interference needed while driving or parking on the roads.

Yes, "robots will do everything better than us", Musk said.

Musk fears just such a thing could potentially happen to self-driving cars ... or entire fleets of self-driving cars. Musk said that the initial step that must be taken in order to come up with an effective AI regulation is to understand the quick progression of developing AI technology.

"I think things are going to grow exponentially".

Even more surprising is how soon they intend to be completed: Musk didn't offer an exact timeframe, but promised they'd open within the "next few years". Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has previously added to comments made by the one and only Stephen Hawking that one-day "computers are going to take over from humans".

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