Elon Musk: A Billionaire in Fear of an AI Apocalypse
When a smart person–a billionaire inventor– believes that machines built by man can and will turn against him when they become smart enough, bringing an end to the world as we know it, it’s difficult for the world, much less the scientific community to ignore him. If it’s still not clear to you “who is Elon Musk,” he’s the abovementioned genius inventor! With an estimated net worth of $16.1 billion by July 2017 according to Forbes, Musk is the founder of SpaceX, CEO of several corporations, and an investor. According to a Vanity Fair article, the billionaire is injecting billions of dollars into his crusade against an AI catastrophe he believes will happen.
Off late, Musk has acknowledged the haste in which artificial intelligence is being embrace by Silicon Valley, and he nervous about it. He’s not sitting back and doing nothing about it; rather, he’s attempting to exert influence in the quickly advancing field of science and its supporters with a view to saving the world, especially humanity, from machine overlords with the ability to learn through AI.
Musk sometimes seems to buy or start his own companies with two broad objectives: to keep pace with the latest AI developments and to develop pertinent counter measures. A case in point is a while ago when Hassabis, who helped establish DeepMind, went to Musk’s SpaceX plant which makes rockets. While the two gentlemen were having a conversation at the canteen, a huge rocket component traversed above them. Thereafter, Musk clarified that his primary objective at SpaceX was the most critical project ever on earth: interplanetary colonization.
Hassabis responded that, actually, he was the one developing the most important program on the planet: artificial super-intelligence. In countering that, Musk said AI was one of the reasons humans needed to colonize Mars–to ensure there’s an escape portal in case AI goes crazy and turns on humans. Maybe Hassabis though it was funny before commenting that AI machines would simply pursue humans to Mars.
Musk began raising the red flag over the potential for AI robots going errant beyond the ability of humans to fix three years back. Probably, it didn’t help with his nervousness when DeepMind associate Shane Legg flatly pointed out that he believed humanity would likely become extinct, and technology would probably be partly to blame for it.
Before Google acquired the AI firm DeepMind in 2014, Musk had already acquired stocks there. As he told a writer of a Vanity Fair article, Musk had gotten involved in DeepMind with the sole objective keeping a cautious eye on the trend that AI takes, rather than return on investment. To Elon Musk, that’s another approach to dictating AI trends.