Elon Musk: Creating Artificial Intelligence Is Akin to Summoning a Demon
In 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired an episode in which technology enthusiasts downloaded a contained demon into a robot vessel, effectively exploring a supernatural version of the worst-case scenario regarding exponential technological advancement. Almost eighteen years later, SpaceX founder, CEO or Tesla Motors, and well-known artificial intelligence alarmist Elon Musk is making the same comparison, claiming that at the rate we're going, humanity could just as easily lose control of AI as a poor schmuck in a horror movie inevitably loses control of the demon he summoned.
The answer starts at 1:07:20
"With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon," said Musk. "You know all those stories where there's the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he's like... yeah, he's sure he can control the demon, [but] it doesn't work out."
His words of caution are accompanied by a call for increased government regulation of artificial intelligence: "I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it's probably that." he said. "I'm increasingly inclined to thing 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."
In the above interview, he also claims that he invests in technology companies working on artificial intelligence companies "just to keep an eye on it." This dramatic rhetoric follows another recent inflammatory AI sound bite, in which he claimed that it might be more dangerous than nuclear warfare:
Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 3, 2014