Talking to employees at his neuro-technology company Neuralink Inc., Elon Musk has warned that we only have ‘a 5 to 10% chance’ of stopping killers robots from destroying humankind, according to Rolling Stone.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, is famous for his futuristic claims. He has voiced his fears time and again regarding artificial intelligence (AI) being a threat to humanity. In 2014, Musk had predicted AI was on the verge of something “seriously dangerous.” Last year, he declared humans had basically lost the battle against AI already, and that the only way to beat them was to join them. Like many of his peers, he advocates serious regulation of AI, and as soon as possible. In July this year, he also warned that regulation of AI is required because it’s a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”
“Normally the way regulations are set up is when a bunch of bad things happens, there’s a public outcry, and after many years a regulatory agency is set up to regulate that industry. It takes forever. That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization.”
In September, Musk said that AI could be the reason for World War III, likely a war that will involve the killer robots he warned about in August.
And now, Musk has quantified his worries. In a recent talk, he claimed that humans have almost no chance to create a completely safe AI. He claimed that the chances of making AI safe is only 5-10%, but the probability of creating dangerous robots increases every year.
“Under any rate of advancement in AI, we will be left behind by a lot,” Musk said. “The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five-year timeframe. Ten years at most. The benign situation with ultra-intelligent AI is that we would be so far below in intelligence we’d be like a pet or a house cat.”
In order to combat this, Musk proposed that we need to be prepared by developing our natural intelligence to the next level. He even started a startup called Neuralink, dedicated to developing the brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. He is now working on a project called neural lace, whose goal is to enhance memory function and provide more direct interaction between human and computer interfaces or give humans added artificial intelligence.
Musk seeks a proactive approach to what he sees as a potentially deadly worldwide AI crisis, which means that governments must become well-versed in the concepts before such understanding becomes a matter of life and death.
In December 2015, in an effort to combat the threat presented by AI, Musk and a number of high-profile tech entrepreneurs established OpenAI Inc., a not-for-profit company that aims to develop AI that doesn’t morph into killer robots.