Musk still con­vinced ro­bots out to get us

The Times (South Africa) - - NEWS - © The

AR­TI­FI­CIAL in­tel­li­gence is the “big­gest risk we face as a civil­i­sa­tion” and needs to be checked, Elon Musk has warned.

The bil­lion­aire tech­nol­ogy en­trepreneur be­hind Tesla and SpaceX said there was a risk that “un­til peo­ple see ro­bots go down the street killing peo­ple they don’t know how to re­act”.

“AI is a rare case where we need to be proac­tive in reg­u­la­tion,” he told a meet­ing of US gover­nors.

“Nor­mally the way reg­u­la­tions are set up is a whole bunch of bad things hap­pen, there’s a pub­lic out­cry and then agen­cies set up to reg­u­late that in­dus­try.

“AI is a fun­da­men­tal risk to the ex­is­tence of civil­i­sa­tion in a way that car ac­ci­dents, aero­plane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not. They were harm­ful to a set of in­di­vid­u­als but they were not harm­ful to so­ci­ety as a whole.”

Un­like many tech­nol­ogy bosses, Musk has been a vo­cal AI scep­tic, warn­ing that the po­ten­tial con­se­quences could out­weigh ben­e­fits like self-driv­ing cars.

He has re­peat­edly warned of its dan­gers, and set up a $1-bil­lion (about R13-bil­lion) re­search com­pany to try and pro­mote safe de­vel­op­ment of AI.

Some AI ex­perts have crit­i­cised Musk, say­ing he is warn­ing of a highly un­likely sce­nario grounded more in science fic­tion than in re­al­ity, al­though his con­cerns have been shared by sci­en­tists in­clud­ing Stephen Hawk­ing.

“Once there is aware­ness peo­ple will be ex­tremely afraid, as they should be,” Musk said. — Daily Tele­graph

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