When SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk recently said that with artificial intelligence we're “summoning the demon,” he wasn't joking.
He was genuinely concerned about artificial intelligence turning against humanity, and according to a new book by Ashlee Vance, he still is.
In his new book, "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future," Bloomberg reporter Ashlee Vance recalls a dinner conversation he had with Musk, and here’s what he wrote:
He opened up about the major fear keeping him up at night: namely that Google's cofounder and CEO Larry Page might well have been building a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.
"I'm really worried about this," Musk said. It didn't make Musk feel any better that he and Page were very close friends and that he felt Page was fundamentally a well-intentioned person and not Dr. Evil. In fact, that was sort of the problem. Page's nice-guy nature left him assuming that the machines would forever do our bidding. "I'm not as optimistic, Musk said." He could produce something evil by accident."
Vance said Musk was always keeping an eye on artificial intelligence. On the other hand, Google’s CEO Larry Page has a different perspective on the whole AI thing.
Truth be told, artificial intelligence in some form already exists – there are dozens of programs learning how to manipulate big data every day, and turn it into meaningful insights. The problem lies in that artificial intelligence being implemented in robots capable of movement.
Musk isn't the only figure in science and technology that feels strongly about the idea that artificial intelligence should be approached with caution. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking have both voiced similar opinions.