Elon Musk Is Pretty Concerned About SkynetBy: Josh Wolford - June 18, 2014
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, often referred to as the real life Tony Stark, can envision a world where we are all overtaken by our robot overlords.
Specifically, the whole Terminator scenario.
CNBC’s Julia Boorstin and Kelly Evans recently asked Musk about a recent investment he made in Vicarious, a company founded in 2010 that is “building software that thinks and learns like a human.” After noting that Musk rarely invests in companies other than his own, Boorstin asked Musk why Vicarious?
And he basically went all Sarah Connor on them. You have to read this amazon interaction, courtesy Business Insider:
MUSK: Right. I was also an investor in DeepMind before Google acquired it and Vicarious. Mostly I sort of – it’s not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return. It’s really, I like to just keep an eye on what’s going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is potentially a dangerous outcome there and we need to –
EVANS: Dangerous? How so?
MUSK: Potentially, yes. I mean, there have been movies about this, you know, like ‘Terminator.’
EVANS: Well yes, but movies are – even if that is the case, what do you do about it? I mean, what dangers do you see that you can actually do something about?
MUSK: I don’t know.
BOORSTIN: Well why did you invest in Vicarious? What exactly does Vicarious do? What do you see it doing down the line?
MUSK: Well, I mean, Vicarious refers to it as recursive cortical networks. Essentially emulating the human brain. And so I think –
BORRSTIN: So you want to make sure that technology is used for good and not Terminator-like evil?
MUSK: Yeah. I mean, I don’t think – in the movie “Terminator,” they didn’t create A.I. to – they didn’t expect, you know some sort of Terminator-like outcome. It is sort of like the Monty Python thing: Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition. It’s just – you know, but you have to be careful. Yeah, you want to make sure that –
“I don’t know. But there are some scary outcomes. And we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad,” said Musk.
Elon Musk invested in an AI company to keep an eye on them. Oh my god that’s incredible.
Musk was one of a handful of high-profile tech names to participate in a reported $40 million investment in Vicarious this spring. Musk joined Mark Zuckerberg and Ashton Kutcher as investors in the company that’s ““developing machine learning software based on the computational principles of the human brain.” PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz are also investors in Vicarious.