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Elon Musk to MIT crowd: 'We are summoning the demon'

Elon Musk, right, spoke before

Billionairebusiness magnateElon Musk has told an MIT crowd "we are summoning the demon" when it comes to the development of artificial intelligence.

Appearing as a featured speaker at MIT's AeroAstro CentennialSymposiumrecently, Musk, currently the CEO of Tesla Motors and space transport services company SpaceX, was asked by an audience member whether he would consider entering the field of artificial intelligence and whether he thought the industry was close "to prime time."

In response, Musk said, "I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it's probably that. So we need to be very carefully with artificial intelligence. I'm increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level just to make sure that we don't do something very foolish."

"With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there's the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he's like he's sure he can control the demon? It doesn't work out."

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After an audience member made an aside about Hal-9000, which is the artificial intelligence program that is the chief antagonist in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Musk said, "Hal-9000 would be easy.It's way more complex than (that.) It would put Hal 9000 to shame….(That'd be) like a puppy dog."

 
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