The Tesla and SpaceX founder has notoriously urged for Artificial Intelligence to be respected and potentially regulated. Speaking at MIT in 2014, he called AI humanity’s “biggest existential threat” and compared it to “summoning the demon”. Four years on and Musk, who is usually far from a technological pessimist, reignited those fears.
Footage has emerged from the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas, in March 2018, where the presenter exclaimed: “A lot of experts don’t share the same level of concern you do.”
It’s safe to say Musk was not impressed.
“Famous last words,” he remarked, before continuing.
He added: “The biggest issue with so-called AI experts is that they think that they know more than they do.
“They think they are smarter than they are.
“In general, we are all much smarter than we think we are, but much dumber than we think we are.
“So this tends to plague smart people, they define themselves by their intelligence and they don’t like the idea that a machine could be way smarter than them.”
Musk, who recently revealed he wants to nuke Mars, explained why he believed experts are wrong.
He added: “I’m really quite close to the cutting edge in AI and it scares the hell out of me.
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He continued: “Nobody expected that rate of improvement – to guess those same experts who think AI is not progressing at the rate that I’m saying.
“I think you’ll find that their predictions for things like Go and other AI advancements make their batting average quite weak.
“We’ll see this also with self-driving.
“I think probably by the end of next year self-driving will encompass essentially all modes of driving and be, at least, 100 to 200 percent safer than a person.”
In July this year, Microsoft invested $1billion (£823,825,000) into Musk’s AI venture that plans to mimic the human brain using computers.
OpenAI said the investment would go towards its efforts of building artificial general intelligence (AGI) that can rival and surpass the cognitive capabilities of humans.
CEO Sam Altman said: “The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity.
“Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we’re working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we’ll build AGI.”