Elon Musk believes there's 'a non-zero chance' of AI 'going Terminator' and wiping out the human race
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Elon Musk has declared that there is a ‘non-zero’ chance that artificial intelligence could bring about the end of the world, similar to what happens in James Cameron’s film The Terminator.
He’s got his fingers in a lot of pies, and is therefore well placed to comment on what the future might hold for AI.
Musk is also never shy in coming forward with an opinion on just about anything, so it’s not too strange that he’d have waded in here.
The Tesla and SpaceX supremo isn’t alone in warning against the advancement of AI, with former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, also warning that it could have potentially unintended – and bad – consequences for humanity.
Schmidt said that AI poses an ‘existential risk’ to humans, with the possibility for ‘many, many, many, many people harmed or killed’.
That’s a lot of many's.
For his part, Musk has compared it to Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Terminator.
At the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit on Wednesday, Schmidt said: “There are scenarios not today, but reasonably soon, where these systems will be able to find zero-day exploits in cyber issues, or discover new kinds of biology,
“Now, this is fiction today, but its reasoning is likely to be true,
“And when that happens, we want to be ready to know how to make sure these things are not misused by evil people.”
Earlier that same day, Musk had said that there is a ‘non-zero chance’ that rogue AI could bring about the end of humanity.
Oh great, there’s another thing to worry about as you try to sleep.
“There’s a non-zero chance of it going Terminator. It’s not zero percent,” Elon said.
“It’s a small likelihood of annihilating humanity, but it’s not zero.
“We want that probability to be as close to zero as possible.”
We certainly do – if anything has a more than zero percent of perpetuating the end of human civilisation, that’s probably too big a risk.
What’s more, Musk also said that an advanced AI could put humanity ‘under strict controls’.
For example, it could take ‘all the computing systems and weapons systems of Earth and effectively become some sort of ‘uber-nanny’'.
“One way to achieve world peace is to take all the weapons away from the humans so they can no longer use them and to punish any humans that engage in extraterritorial activity,” Musk elaborated.
Both Schmidt and Musk have become the loudest voices advocating for controls and ‘guardrails’ for AI.
1,000 experts have said the same thing, arguing that it could increase the spread of ‘propaganda and untruth’ or even the ‘loss of control of our civilisation’.
‘Bad actors’ could also use AI to create problems, the ‘Godfather of AI’ Dr Geoffrey Hinton, warned.
Wonderful news – things just get better and better as we go on, don’t they?
Well, bring it on – who won at the end of Terminator, anyway?