Providing a dose of dystopia over Labor Day weekend, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk repeatedly tweeted about his concerns that North Korea won’t start World War III — artificial intelligence will.
Musk has frequently warned about the dangers of AI, calling for it to be regulated just as weaponry would. Following last week’s news about North Korea’s unexpected escalation of its nuclear program, on Monday Musk tweeted that the rogue nation “should be low on our list of concerns for civilizational existential risk. NK has no entangling alliances that wd polarize world into war.”
Who does? Musk linked to an article that quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying, “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind… Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”
Musk commented, “It begins.”
Although an AI expert and author of the book “What to Do When Machines Do Everything” says that there are “three horses in this race” — the U.S., China and India — Musk clearly fears other nations will jockey for dominance. “Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo,” he tweeted.
In another tweet, Musk speculated that an AI system could choose to start a war “if it decides that a prepemptive [sic] strike is most probable path to victory.”
Musk has openly expressed anxiety about the future of artificial intelligence before, and he has started two AI-related ventures: OpenAI, a nonprofit research company, and Neuralink, a startup aimed at connecting the human brain with computers.
“I was trying to really sound the alarm on the AI front for quite a while, but it was clearly having no impact,” he said in an April interview near the launch of Neuralink. “So I was like, ‘Oh fine, okay, then we’ll have to try to help develop it in a way that’s good.’ “