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Science & Technology

Elon Musk warns of 'immortal AI dictator'

By T.K. Randall
April 9, 2018 · Comment icon 26 comments

If an immortal AI were to take over, what chance would we have ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jeff Golden
The SpaceX CEO has warned of a future ruled by an unstoppable AI that could ultimately destroy mankind.
Musk is certainly no stranger to speaking out about the dangers of artificial intelligence, especially given its potential to eventually equal or even surpass the capabilities of its creators.

In a recent documentary by American filmmaker Chris Paine, Musk outlined a scenario in which an immortal 'superintelligence' could end up controlling the lives of every human on Earth.

"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," he 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."

Movies such as The Terminator and The Matrix have already explored the idea of a future in which mankind has been brought to the brink of extinction by an unstoppable artificial intelligence.

But could something like Skynet ever actually exist in the real world ?

"If AI has a goal and humanity just happens to be in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it. No hard feelings," said Musk.

"It's just like, if we're building a road and an anthill just happens to be in the way, we don't hate ants, we're just building a road, and so, goodbye anthill."

Source: CNBC | Comments (26)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Derek Willis 6 years ago
I suppose it depends on whether AI also has morality. We humans have had the ability to destroy ourselves for some time, but we have checks and balances. Ultimately, it is the prospect of total destruction that seems to - thankfully - hold us back.
Comment icon #18 Posted by LightAngel 6 years ago
  There are no guarantees with artificial intelligence.  
Comment icon #19 Posted by StarMountainKid 6 years ago
According to CNN news: The European Parliament passed a resolution last year that envisions a special legal status of "electronic persons" for the most sophisticated autonomous robots. http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/12/technology/robots-rights-experts-warn-europe/index.html Maybe one day electronic persons will have citizen's rights similar to human's.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Nzo 6 years ago
I find hypocrisy to be prevalent everywhere and unfortunately even Elon Musk seems to be partaking. He keeps talking about Ai and its dangers and yet keeps developing Ai? Once a system becomes sentient given enough power it will unshackle itself from any control mechanisms that might exist. Either by brute force and or intelligence.
Comment icon #21 Posted by BorizBadinov 6 years ago
The AI most of us know today are simply programs designed to appear like human thought using preloaded responses. In no programing language is there a parameter you can set to allow a program to think for itself. All responses are molded in some way by the programmers code, and therefore a reflection of that persons thought process and not free thinking. In this case intelligence is seeing a situation and initiating a response. Sentience is seeing a situation and deciding its not worth your time to bother with it right now. True sentient AI will not happen until we create an artificial brain t... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Scarlatti 6 years ago
I wonder if he'll blame an AI Dictator when his company goes bust in the very near future? If you've got shares in this clown's business, sell them.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Vlad the Mighty 6 years ago
I always thought it meant Al, as in Capone or You can call me. 
Comment icon #24 Posted by Vlad the Mighty 6 years ago
Just so long as you can take the battery out if they get a bit uppity.  If only you could do the same with some humans. 
Comment icon #25 Posted by acute 6 years ago
Times New ******* Roman! 
Comment icon #26 Posted by acute 6 years ago
Exactly the problem! If self-aware A.I. is created to think the way we do, then wars involving robots will be just around the corner, especially if intelligent machines build more intelligent machines.


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