It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Elon Musk’s interpretation of AI is widely misunderstood.
You might want to call Elon Musk as someone who is a revolutionary inventor and one of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley, but when it comes to AI, he is pessimistic. However the same is not true for other technologies. In his speech at MIT in 2014, he called AI as ‘Humanities biggest existential threat’ and compared it with Frankenstein.
If you are someone who follows the tech entrepreneurs of the silicon valley, then you have definitely heard of the love-hate relationship of AI and Elon Musk. Before you completely brand him as anti-AI or Conservative, read below before forming a bias.
Being one of the early proponents of AI, Elon Musk is one of the first investors in DeepMind. He also set up the $1 billion OpenAI research lab. But what is it that makes him tweet things like, AI is more dangerous than nukes or WWIII, more dangerous than nukes.
Being a critique of AI, Musk’s comments are not well received by AI researchers. According to them, Musk’s statement, “ AI will soon become just as smart as humans and said that when it does we should all be scared as humanity’s very existence is at stake.” is nothing short of ludicrous.
One of the AI researcher at a U.K university on the condition of anonymity said,
“I instinctively fall on dislike, because he makes up such nonsense, But then he delivers such extraordinary things. It always leaves me wondering, does he know what he’s doing? Is all the visionary stuff just a trick to get an innovative thing to market?”
After his investment in Deepmind and it being acquired by Google, he set up a new $1 billion AI research lab named OpenAI in Silicon Valley, which has a particular focus on AI safety.
He tweeted in September 2017 that, most likely AI could be the cause of Third World War as a response to Putin’s statement who said that the nation who leads in AI would be the ruler of the world.
And this might sound like something straight from a sci-fi movie, Musk’s eyes had fancied another deep-tech startup Neuralink. The start-up wants to merge people’s brains and AI with the help of a Bluetooth enabled processor that sits in the skull and talks to a person’s phone. In July 2019, the company said human trials would begin in 2020.
Now the question that might come to your mind, if he is so intimidated by the emerging technology, what makes him invest in AI?
The probable answer is, he wants to keep things closer which he thinks might pose risk to the existence of humankind. Maybe he is apprehensive of the fact that AI is turning humans into cyborgs and hence staying close to what he thinks is an ‘enemy’!