What Scares Elon Musk About Artificial Intelligence?
By Alan Olsen
As the world of technology>
continues to move into the furthest realms of the imagination, new ideas,
services and products continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible. With virtual
reality and now artificial
intelligence gaining more steam, these kinds of technologies
also create moral dilemmas for many people. While virtual
reality doesn’t appear to have any real inherent dangers, artificial
intelligence, on the other hand, is more complex. Artificial
intelligence (AI) is the theory and development of computer systems able to
perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as speech
recognition, visual perception, translating languages and decision-making.
While that all sounds great, not everyone thinks it’s a good idea to create
machines that can do our thinking and feeling for us.
Make AI Available to All
Elon Musk, who has started and owns several companies,
most notably, Tesla
Motors, has been a voice of caution when it comes to AI.
While Elon is the co-chairman of OpenAI, a non-profit AI
research company seeking to promote open-source friendly AI,
he has expressed concern about the possibility that someone could pursue AI
to do more harm in the world than good. Despite his concerns, Elon does feel
can have many benefits if used properly by the right people. In fact, he pointed
out that he believes AI
will most likely be the single greatest thing to affect the future of humanity.
Elon recently discussed artificial
intelligence in an interview and shared his hope for the technology
going forward. “The best of the available alternatives that I can come up with
– and maybe someone else can come up with a better approach or better outcome –
is that we achieve democratization of AI technology.
Meaning that no one company
or small set of individuals has control over advanced AI technology.”
Risks of AI
So what is it that scares Elon so much about AI?
Mainly he is concerned that it could fall into the wrong hands. For example,
what if an evil dictator was to steal it and use it for harmful purposes. “I
think if you've got any incredibly powerful AI,
you just don't know who's going to control that. So it's not that I think that
the risk is that the AI
would develop a will of its own right off the bat. I think the concern is that
someone may use it in a way that is bad. So I think we must have
democratization of AI technology
to make it widely available.” Aside from the possible dangers, Elon also spoke
about how AI
could work with the brain.
Melding AI With the Human Brain
“We already have a situation in our brain where we've got
the cortex and the limbic system. The limbic system is kind of…the primitive
brain. That's kind of like your instincts and whatnot. And the cortex is the
thinking upper part of the brain. Those two seem to work together quite well.
So I think if we can effectively merge with AI
by improving the neural link between your cortex and your digital extension of
yourself…then effectively you become an AI-human
symbiote. And if that then is widespread, with anyone who wants it can have it,
then we solve the control problem as well, we don't have to worry about some
evil dictator AI
because we are the AI
collectively. That seems like the best outcome I can think of.”
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