Elon Musk warns MIT students against ‘summoning the demon’ of AI

Elon Musk is viewed by many as the man who will lead us to a utopian, tech-driven future, but there’s at least one emerging technology the Tesla Motors CEO wants nothing to do with.

During a recent interview at the MIT AeroAstro Centennial Symposium (via TechCrunch), Musk described artificial intelligence as humankind’s greatest existential threat, starting at 1:07:23 in the video.

Describing artificial-intelligence research as “summing the demon,” Musk said there should be regulatory oversight on a national, possibly international, level to prevent the machines from enslaving humanity.

Like pentagram-brandishing Satanists trying to raise a creature from Hell, Musk worries that researchers will be overconfident, thinking they can control an artificial intelligence when, in fact, they can’t.

Related: Elon Musk shoots down the idea of flying cars

This isn’t the first time Musk has spoken out against artificial intelligence. A couple of months ago, he said that it could be “worse than nukes” on Twitter, and suggested that followers read Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, a book explaining the potential threat of A.I. by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom.

Musk also previously said he believes a “Judgment Day” scenario a la Terminator is possible, and that he invests in A.I. companies just to keep tabs on them.

After all, just because a technology is new, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for humanity. Take those nukes Musk mentioned earlier.

If artificial intelligence is as great a threat to humanity as Musk says it is, hopefully he’ll continue to use the same persuasion skills that have sold so many people on Tesla’s electric cars to spread the word.


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