Elon Musk issues stark warning about artificial intelligence
February 18, 2017
ELON Musk believes artificial intelligence could be catastrophic for humanity.
He thinks we are set to become a cyborg race, which will have to grapple with 15 per cent of the global work force being without a job, reports The Sun.
The creative genius added a ‘universal income’ would have to be introduced for the global population because robots will do everything.
Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the entrepreneur also told the 4000 strong conference he saw space flights to the far reaches of the solar system being as common as a plane ride in 50 years, and self-driven cars were just 10 years away from usurping human driven vehicles completely.
The business magnate, who was being interviewed by Mohammad Abdulla Alergawi, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future for the UAE, told the crowd: “One of the most troubling questions is artificial intelligence. I don’t mean narrow A.I. — deep artificial intelligence, where you can have AI which is much smarter than the smartest human on earth. This is a dangerous situation.”
He also warned world governments: “Pay close attention to the development of artificial intelligence.
“Make sure researchers don’t get carried away — scientists get so engrossed in their work they don’t realise what they are doing.”
When asked if he thought A.I. was a good or a bad thing Musk said: “I think it is both.
“One way to think of it is imagine you were very confident we were going to be visited by super intelligent aliens in 10 years or 20 years at the most.
“Digital super intelligence will be like an alien.”
He then joked: “It seems probable. But this is one of the great questions in physics and philosophy — where are the aliens?
“Maybe they are among us I don’t know. Some people think I am an alien. Not true.
“Of course I would say that though wouldn’t I?
“If there are super intelligent aliens out there they are probably already observing us.”
Musk also discussed how he saw human beings as already being ‘cyborgs’ as we become more and more dependent on technology.
To muted laughter from the crowd he explained: “To some degree we are already a cyborg — you think of all the digital tools that you have — your phone, your computer.
“The applications that you have. The fact that you can ask a question and instantly get an answer from Google and other things.
“You already have a digital tertiary layer. Think of the limbic system — the animal brain and the cortex as the thinking part of the brain, and your digital self as a third layer.
“If you die your digital ghost is still around. All of their emails, and social media, that still lives if they die.
“Over time we will see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. It is all about the band width of the brain.
“The digital extension of yourself. Output if anything is getting worse. We do most of our output through our thumbs which is very slow.
“Some high band width interface to the brain will be something which helps achieve symbiosis between human and machine intelligence, which solves a control and usefulness problem.”
Musk went on to say autonomous cars would be a great convenience, but also a game changer for society, adding he saw the advances in technology causing mass unemployment.
“We will need to have some kind of universal basic income — I don’t think there will be a choice.
“There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better.
“These are things that I wish would happen, these are things probably will happen.
“I think some kind of universal income will be necessary.
“The harder challenge is how do people then have meaning — because a lot of people derive their meaning from their employment.
“If you are not needed, if there is not a need for your labour. What’s the meaning?
“Do you have meaning, are you useless? That is a much harder problem to deal with.”