Elon Musk Says AI Could Live on Mars Before Humans

Monday, 31 December 2018 - 1:26PM
Technology
Artificial Intelligence
Mars
Monday, 31 December 2018 - 1:26PM
Elon Musk Says AI Could Live on Mars Before Humans
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Adapted from Pixabay images
One giant leap for mankind? Maybe not. 

Futurism reports that SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk was asked by a follower via Twitter about the odds of an artificial intelligence beating human beings to the punch when it comes to inhabiting Mars. Instead of dismissing the idea completely as some might have expected him to, Musk responded by tweeting simply "30%." While his response is by no means a hardline prediction, the number Musk chose is just high enough that it suggests that he hasn't ruled out the possibility. Considering his company's efforts to help mankind get closer to the Red Planet, and his own complicated relationship with (and slight distrust of) artificial intelligence, the response has prompted some discussion online.

One does not simply get Elon Musk to elaborate on his random Twitter responses, which means that his followers often have to speculate and attempt to parse his thoughts to make sense of them. In this case, there isn't much to unpack besides the way the question was phrased. As BGR points out, saying that there is a chance that an AI could "reside" on Mars before humans do is not the same as saying that artificial intelligence would set up camp and build little AI colonies and start AI families on the fourth rock from the Sun. "It could be anything from a self-sufficient rover-like robot to a static lander that conducts experiments and makes observations without direct commands from its handlers," wrote Mike Wehner. "A machine with AGI (artificial general intelligence) or ASI (artificial super intelligence) doesn't necessarily mean it's a human-like robot at all."

Elon Musk has warned against the dangers of AI in past, arguing that autonomous machines could give rise to an "immortal dictator from which we can never escape." A dictator on Mars sounds like less of a problem than one on our soil, but maybe that's thinking too insularly? If there were a 30% chance of rain, you would at least consider grabbing an umbrella before leaving the house, so maybe mankind should be working harder to make sure AI doesn't steal this milestone away from us.
Science
Space
Technology
Artificial Intelligence
Mars
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