Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has marked artificial intelligence as the biggest threat to humans. On Friday, Musk, who is also the founder of SpaceX, addressed the MIT Aeronautics department’s Centennial Symposium for about an hour, mulling international oversight to “make sure we don’t do something very foolish.”
Tesla CEO warns again
Tesla’s CEO did not talk about any specific threat but was convincing in making his point. He said that with artificial intelligence, human beings are beckoning demons, adding, “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.”
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Artificial intelligence works with the help of computers for completing tasks that otherwise need human intelligence such as speech, recognition or language translation. All mega tech companies are excited about artificial intelligence and are betting on the usefulness of the technology when harnessed correctly. Companies such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) are keen on developing systems that work like the human brain.
In August, Tesla’s CEO tweeted: “Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”
According to a report from The Washington Post, Tesla’s CEO was so into artificial intelligence that he missed the question asked by someone in the audience and asked him to repeat the question.
Big tech firms developing AI
Back in January, Google acquired British startup DeepMind, which is an artificial intelligence company founded by a 37-year old former chess prodigy and computer game designer. Google’s London office did confirm that the deal was concluded but denied paying $500 million. The startup was founded by researcher Demis Hassabis, together with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. Hassabis has done research on the processes that underlie human memory.
Dr. Stuart Armstrong from the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, has already cautioned that increasing use of artificial intelligence will result in massive unemployment as machinery would replace manpower. Armstrong also talked about the effects of uncontrolled mass surveillance if computers learn to recognize human faces. Now Musk’s warning cannot be ignored, considering his position in the tech industry.