Elon Musk Thinks Sci-Fi Nightmare Scenarios About Artificial Intelligence Could Really Happen

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t the biggest fan of artificial intelligence, an initiative he called “our biggest existential threat” in comments at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium on Friday.

Musk, who called for some regulatory oversight of AI to ensure “we don’t do something very foolish,” warned of the dangers.

“If I were to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence,” he said. “With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of research with the goal of creating intelligent machines which can reason, problem-solve, and think like, or better than, human beings can. While many researchers wish to ensure AI has a positive impact, a nightmare scenario has played out often in science fiction books and movies — from 2001 to Terminator to Blade Runner — where intelligent computers or machines end up turning on their human creators.

“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. Didn’t work out,” Musk said.

The symposium wasn’t the first time Musk raised concerns. In August, Musk tweeted: “We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

(h/t The Washington Post)

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