Elon Musk Once Again Warns of the Looming Robot Apocalypse

Josh WolfordTechnology

Share this Post

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has once again taken to a public forum to warn everyone that they shouldn't sleep on recent developments in the artificial intelligence field. In short, Musk says that the chance of "something seriously dangerous happening" is likely in five years or so, and a near certainty within a decade.

Musk posted his warning on science and futurology site edge.org, as a reply to an article titled The Myth of AI. At some point, Musk deleted his comment – but quick redditors over at the futurology subreddit caught it.

Here's what he had to say:

The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I'm not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. Unless you have direct exposure to groups like Deepmind, you have no idea how fast-it is growing at a pace close to exponential. The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most. This is not a case of crying wolf about something I don't understand.

I am not alone in thinking we should be worried. The leading AI companies have taken great steps to ensure safety. They recognize the danger, but believe that they can shape and control the digital superintelligences and prevent bad ones from escaping into the Internet. That remains to be seen...

This is by no means Musk's first warning of the type.

In August, he tweeted that AI was potentially more dangerous than nukes.

A few months ago he vocalized his concerns regarding a possible Skynet scenario. In fact, he pretty much admitted to investing in an AI company so that he could keep an eye on them.

And barely three weeks ago, speaking at MIT's Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium, Musk compared harnessing AI to controlling a demon.

"I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence.

“Increasingly scientists think 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. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.”

I don't know if you're inclined to buy into the plausibility of a robot apocalypse but if you're going to listen to someone, Elon Musk has to be near the top of the list. Ignore at your own risk.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf