Elon Musk: ‘Mark my words, A.I. is far more dangerous than nukes’

Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk has doubled down on his dire warnings about the danger of artificial intelligence..

The billionaire tech entrepreneur called AI more dangerous than nuclear warheads and said there needs to be a regulatory body overseeing the development of super intelligence, speaking at the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas on Sunday.

It is not the first time Musk has made frightening predictions about the potential of artificial intelligence — he has, for example, called AI vastly more dangerous than North Korea — and he has previously called for regulatory oversight.

Some have called his tough talk fear-mongering. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said Musk's doomsday AI scenarios are unnecessary and "pretty irresponsible." And Harvard professor Steven Pinker also recently criticized Musk's tactics.

Musk, however, is resolute, calling those who push against his warnings "fools" at SXSW.

"The biggest issue I see with so-called AI experts is that they think they know more than they do, and they think they are smarter than they actually are," said Musk. "This tends to plague smart people. They define themselves by their intelligence and they don't like the idea that a machine could be way smarter than them, so they discount the idea — which is fundamentally flawed."

Based on his knowledge of machine intelligence and its developments, Musk believes there is reason to be worried.

"I am really quite close, I am very close, to the cutting edge in AI and it scares the hell out of me," said Musk. "It's capable of vastly more than almost anyone knows and the rate of improvement is exponential."

Musk pointed to machine intelligence playing the ancient Chinese strategy game Go to demonstrate rapid growth in AI's capabilities. For example, London-based company, DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014, developed an artificial intelligence system, AlphaGo Zero, that learned to play Go without any human intervention. It learned simply from randomized play against itself. The Alphabet-owned company announced this development in a paper published in October

Musk worries AI's development will outpace our ability to manage it in a safe way.



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