Numerous countries around the world are on high alert as North Korea continues to conduct nuclear tests, but billionaire Elon Musk is more concerned about the development of artificial intelligence as weapons of war than the Asian country’s threatening behavior in recent weeks.
Musk tweeted on Monday: “China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo [in my opinion].” He added that North Korea “should be low on our list of concerns for civilizational existential risk. NK has no entangling alliances that wd polarize world into war.”
The Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO’s opinion was a response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments about AI to a group of students on their first day of school on Sept. 1. Putin noted via satellite: “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”
Putin added that Russia would not keep this knowledge from other nations, claiming: “If we become leaders in this area, we will share this know-how with the entire world, the same way we share our nuclear technologies today.”
Musk thinks governments will jump at the opportunity to use AI to their benefit. He tweeted: “Govts don’t need to follow normal laws. They will obtain AI developed by companies at gunpoint, if necessary.”
The engineer/inventor knows a thing or two about technology. He founded aerospace manufacturer SpaceX in 2002 and plans on colonizing Mars. He is the CEO of Tesla, which produces electric cars, and he’s developing a solar-powered “hyperloop” transit system.
Musk fears that AI may evolve and act independently of its country’s directives. He tweeted: “May be initiated not by the country leaders, but one of the AI’s, if it decides that a preemptive [sic] strike is most probable path to victory.”
Last month, Musk teamed up with 100 experts in AI technology and asked the United Nations to impose a ban on robotic weapons. Meanwhile, he’s working on two AI initiatives, according to CNN. OpenAI is a nonprofit research company, and NeuraLink aims to connect the human brain to computers. When NeuraLink was launched, he explained during an interview: “I was trying to really sound the alarm on the AI front for quite a while, but it was clearly having no impact. So, I was like, ‘Oh fine, okay, then we’ll have to try to help develop it in a way that’s good.'”