Musk voices fears about the rise of the smart ma­chines

Sunday News - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON Among his many warn­ings about the rise of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, Elon Musk has said that au­tonomous ma­chines are more dan­ger­ous to the world than North Korea and could un­leash ‘‘weapons of ter­ror’’. He has com­pared the adop­tion of AI to ‘‘sum­mon­ing the devil’’.

Now the bil­lion­aire in­ven­tor and Tesla chief ex­ec­u­tive – who be­lieves ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence could help trig­ger the next world war – has is­sued another se­vere warn­ing about how su­per­in­tel­li­gent ma­chines could come to dom­i­nate the world.

Such su­per-com­put­ers could be­come ‘‘ an im­mor­tal dic­ta­tor from which we would never es­cape’’, Musk pas­sion­ately warns in the new doc­u­men­tary Do You Trust This Com­puter?.

In the doc­u­men­tary, di­rected by Chris Paine (the man be­hind 2006’s Who Killed The Elec­tric Car?), Musk joins a grow­ing cho­rus of ex­perts warn­ing that in­tel­li­gent ma­chines are al­ready fun­da­men­tally chang­ing our so­ci­ety by amass­ing per­sonal data, ad­vanc­ing science and medicine, and be­gin­ning to cre­ate new forms of su­per­in­tel­li­gence.

‘‘We are rapidly headed to­wards dig­i­tal su­per-in­tel­li­gence that far ex­ceeds any hu­man,’’ he says in the film, which pre­miered this week in Los An­ge­les. ‘‘I think it’s very ob­vi­ous.’’

The film fea­tures tech­nol­ogy ex­perts such as Google Brain founder An­drew Ng, Af­fec­tiva chief ex­ec­u­tive Rana el Kaliouby, Osaka Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Hiroshi Ishig­uro, OpenAI direc­tor Shivon Zilis, and West­world cocre­ator Jonathan Nolan.

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence al­ready helps us live longer and en­hance ef­fi­ciency in nu­mer­ous in­dus­tries, but these ex­perts ar­gue that hu­mans are al­ready los­ing their grip on the tech­nol­ogy, giv­ing it power and abil­i­ties that hu­man­ity may never be able to re­claim. ‘‘The pat­tern here is that AI might take a lit­tle while to wrap its ten­ta­cles around a new skill, but when it does, it is un­stop­pable,’’ the film’s trailer warns.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Mash­able, Musk is so in­tent on spread­ing his warn­ings about AI to the pub­lic that he has paid for Do You Trust This Com­puter? to be streamed free on YouTube over the week­end. Wash­ing­ton Post

Elon Musk

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