Elon Musk Podcast: Artificial Intelligence Does Not Need to Hate Us To Destroy Us!

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times had a podcast with Elon Musk.  He talks about electric cars, space travel, neural links and more.  One of his most provocative comments concerned artificial intelligence. Here is the exchange between Musk and Kara Swisher the hostess for the podcast.

Kara Swicher:

“So many years ago when we met you said A.I. would treat us like house cats. That they’re too smart to hate us. And you said, we’ll be like house cats. That’s how they think of us. And then later, when I met with you at your office, you switched it to anthills, which was your analogy that when you see an anthill you don’t kick it over unless you’re kind of a jerk. But when you’re making a highway you just roll over it. Can you give a metaphor of where we are with A.I. right now?

Elon Musk:

“I was just pointing out with the anthill analogy that A.I. does not need to hate us to destroy us. In a sense, that if it decides that it needs to go in a particular direction and we’re in the way then it would without no hard feelings it would just roll over us. We would roll over an anthill that’s in the way of a road. You don’t hate ants. You’re just building a road. It’s a risk not a prediction. So, yeah. I think that we really need to think of intelligence as really not being uniquely confined to humans. And that the potential for intelligence in computers is far greater than in biology.

Musk’s last sentence is most telling that the potential for intelligence in computers is far greater than biology. He foresees the world of tomorrow as well as anybody, but as with any speculation about the future, it is rarely the whether but the when!



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