OffBeat

Elon Musk calls Artificial Intelligence ‘potentially more dangerous than nukes’

Above: Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Image Credit: SXSW Livestream

When a billionaire investor responsible for disrupting credit/payments, automotive, and space travel industries communicates a warning to the world about a trend in new technologies, it’s best just to listen.

Case in point, yesterday SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk told people to be careful when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), which he said could be “potentially more dangerous” than nuclear weapons, according to a tweet sent yesterday. (The tweet came just an hour after Musk offered his thoughts on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie, so take that however you will.)

But just because something is dangerous, doesn’t mean Musk is scare of exploring and experimenting with it. Musk is a major investor in AI startup Vicarious, which is focused on creating the next generation of AI-powered algorithms. Therefore, Musk’s tweet is more of a “proceed, but proceed with caution” message more than anything else.

Musk began the tweet by recommending that people read the book Superintelligence by Swedish philosopher and Oxford professor Nick Bostrom, which will be released in English next month. Personally, the comment makes me far more curious about what Vicarious is up to — and if we need to be worried that the robot apocalypse will be upon us in the near future.

Via BusinessInsider

More information:

Vicarious is developing machine learning software based on the computational principles of the human brain. Our first technology is a visual perception system that interprets the contents of photographs and videos in a manner similar t... read more »

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72 comments
Ali Johnson
Ali Johnson

Your basically building "humans" (conscience beings) with no bodies...there's a problem with that.

Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson

Something is going to kill us all...what difference does it make what it is.

MadDog Jaxson
MadDog Jaxson

Really just an attitude adjustment needed until

we know more than we think not knowing

less than we thinl

Adam Sculthorpe
Adam Sculthorpe

AI and robots will put millions of people out of work in a very short space of time, that's something we should be seriously concerned about.

Babu Ranganathan
Babu Ranganathan

INTELLIGENT DESIGN ON ANOTHER PLANET? Imagine finding a planet where robots are programmed to make other robots just like themselves from raw materials. Now, imagine an alien scientist visiting the planet and, after studying these robots, comes to the conclusion that since science can explain how these robots work, operate, function, and reproduce there's no reason to believe there was an intelligent designer behind them. Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

Visit my latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION .

I discuss: Punctuated Equilibria, "Junk DNA," genetics, biological variations, mutations, natural selection, fossils, dinosaur “feathers,” the genetic and biological similarities between various species, etc., etc.

Babu G. Ranganathan*
B.A. Bible/Biology

Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.

Rocky Ratan
Rocky Ratan

If u make nokia 1100,people will make samsung galazy y in few years,so working with caution,this statement for me is POINTLESS.

Rocky Ratan
Rocky Ratan

but why shud u add MORE risks to lives rather than adding value or making lives easier? Google

Brad Arnold
Brad Arnold

To be fair, while AI might very well be more dangerous than nukes, so is the genomic revolution (i.e. biological terrorism), nanotechnology, and even burning fossil fuels for energy (to name a few).  The concept of dual-use (where a helpful technology can be misused too) isn't controversial or far-fetched.

Ben Fowler
Ben Fowler

Celebrity Death Match - Elon Musk vs. Ray Kurzweil

Bubba Nicholson
Bubba Nicholson

If Mr. Musk understood the problem he would not suggest this.  Sadly, the people in the field trying to develop AI do not understand the problem, either.  Our brains are analog computers, and many orders of magnitude superior to mere digital machines.  Oh digitals can paint a pretty picture, but they can understand virtually nothing by comparison.  It may be possible to build electro-analog computers that would eventually compete with us but nobody seems interested.  I speak with some authority, since I designed the stories for A.I., E.T., UP, The Matrix, Iron Man (heh!), Inception, Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, 300, Close Encounters, ID4, and so many more I cannot remember them all.  OK, that might not impress, but I have elucidated what causes crime, gotta cure for it, too.

Mohamad Abu Ali
Mohamad Abu Ali

Anything can be a great danger. Human beings are a great danger.

Adam Shahbaz
Adam Shahbaz

Elon Musk tweets, VB sells ads. You guys should cut him in a rev share.

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

actually its up to the corporations to choose and they wont be choosing for your benefit since that equates to less profits. its the small pioneers who will create the AI that puts them in their place. nuff said

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

there is nothing wrong with my technology. you have nothing to fear from AI itself. what you have to fear is the people behind the other developments

Justin Brooks
Justin Brooks

I hardly think Elon Musk is remotely technophobic. Seems you really didn't read the article to comprehend what he is saying.

Yasmine Bennis
Yasmine Bennis

We've seen from countless AI movies the possible scenarios and risk involved.. I believe he also said to develop AI tech with Precaution!

harold wimberly
harold wimberly

I understand what musk is saying but there's nothing that can be done about it. The cat is out of the bag and machine intelligence will eventually control the world. Humans in our present state will become inneficient and we will have to enhance ourselves and become cyborgs in order to try and be on an equal footing with machine intelligence.

dick tracy
dick tracy

Mr know it all is at it again. This guy thinks he's smarter than anyone on this planet. What a big BS'er. You can fool many people with your Tesla car, but you don't fool many scientists who think you are simply a dreamer who takes other people inventions to make yourself look good. How many companies have jumped to your open source patents. None that I've heard of.

John Kennedy
John Kennedy

Hey VentureBeat, if people get the wrong impression about Elon's views from your headline, that's on you. Don't be part of the problem. Practice responsible journalism.

Bart Kohnhorst
Bart Kohnhorst

We cannot outsource our thinking and decision making. Leon Musk is a highly credible thinker and decision maker and this statement needs our attention.

THE FOOL FUNNEL
THE FOOL FUNNEL

Look if the Aliens find just a robot planet here in 200 years, then we were sad and weak as a species.

Reuben Barr
Reuben Barr

Artificial consciousness will be our legacy in much the same way as our children are currently. You do your best to teach morals but in the end you never know what will happen.

Carlos Rincon Eckardt
Carlos Rincon Eckardt

I'm a fourth year CS student, also have a technical in computer programming with a focus on neural networks...

Sean Shadmand
Sean Shadmand

Great - is this where the brilliant billionaire starts losing it? A la Howard Hughes ;( if Elon starts pissing in cups for safety dumping the stock! P.S. Just kidding Elon - you're the man!!!

Brian Bonnell
Brian Bonnell

Adam, AI is inherently more dangerous as it contains the possibility that it will clearly demonstrate the fallacy of our own so-called intelligence...

Anton Exists
Anton Exists

Was there anyone who thought otherwise? Any technology can be used for whatever purpose. The more reach it has, the further the extremes.

Alex Nangle
Alex Nangle

Would be nice if he explained himself rather than just tweeting it.

Erich Cervantez
Erich Cervantez

Added Superintelligence to my book reading list, thanks VB. To me, AI is a lot like electricity. When we discovered it, it changed how we live and spawned more inventions than the wheel. We also use it to launch nukes. A knife can cut tomatoes for a salad or someone's jugular. Anything around us can be dangerous. It's up to humanity to choose.

Tim Dick
Tim Dick

I'm with Musk on this one. Unlike any other technology, humans will not know when AI exceeds our intelligence and ability to manage it. HAL in 2001 being an illustrative example of an AI taking over the mission at the expense of the human life.

Carlos Rincon Eckardt
Carlos Rincon Eckardt

Well the good news is that AI doesn't work and it will continue to not work of the foreseeable future!

Kishor Maharjan
Kishor Maharjan

Cuz a day will come when the A.I. will be in control of the nukes. As simple as that..

Inverse Onethreeseven
Inverse Onethreeseven

@Babu Ranganathan "refute atheism."


Atheism is not a "belief system" because there is no dogma.


So, Babu, I have 1 question for you and only 1question.


You obviously believe in a god...a christian god specifically.  


SO, if there is a christian god....and this god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent...how is there such a thing as free will?  HOW can you claim freewill when this god already knows the outcome?


if the god does not know the outcome already then this god is not omniscient.   If the god does know the outcome then there is no other possible outcome that the god does not know about and therefore there is no freewill....no choice.


My question:  How do you reconcile this paradox?


This should be entertaining.....

Rojo Rojo
Rojo Rojo

@Inverse Onethreeseven @Babu Ranganathan


I normally don't get involved in religion arguments, but this point it too far off to pass on.

Maybe you should think about your point in terms of claiming it's a paradox. For example, the argument is made that time travel is not possible because of the paradox you could go back in time and murder yourself. Therefore, you can't be there in the future to time travel, so you couldn't go back in time, so you couldn't have murdered yourself. 

What you described is not a paradox. We have free will. We can make any choice we want. However, God knows the choices you are going to make and the outcome before we even have the choice. Where is there a paradox? How do these contradict themselves other than point to the greatness of God?  

The only complication occurs in that you don't believe and your are limited by our human understanding, and therefore it is impossible for you to comprehend the thought that God is in fact omniscient, and omniscient to the point that he can contend with every possible outcome, of every infinite situation you encounter over your day, let alone your life, and the lives of everyone else that has or will come and know what each individual path will be.  

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee..." Jeremiah 1:5


I know this will probably result in further argument then eventually lead to insulting, so I'm done. I'm not going to convince you, you're not going to convince me. 


My one point I'll leave you with. You are trying to employ human logic and intelligence to catch God in the act with technicalities. My only comparison is a ant. An ant thinks it understands its world. It survives and thrives. However, if we were to somehow provide it with human eyesight and comprehension, and pick it up and let it see the world it lives in, it would see its current understanding is extremely limited. How are you different?