Musk warns of the 'demon' of artificial intelligence

Elon Musk worries we may be preparing for a Terminator scenario from research into artificial intelligence
Warner Bros./Columbia Pictures

The founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has issued dire warnings about the Pandora's box we could be opening by developing artificial intelligence.

In an audience Q&A at an MIT symposium he took an apocalyptic turn.

"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.' Doesn't work out."

He said he thought AI was our biggest existential threat and that "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."

That hasn't stopped him investing in the sector. He sunk money into AI firm DeepMind, which was later acquired by Google, and in March made backed machine-intelligence company Vicarious.

But Musk said that was to keep an eye on the technology.

It's not the first time Musk has warned of the dangers of creating sentient robots. In June he said he worries about a "Terminator" scenario arising from research into AI.

Cosmos recently looked at the development of AI. From that it seems that Musk's warnings are falling on defa ears. Far from being frightened of it, as development in the sector accelerates, most of us seem in a rush to embrace it.

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