Elon Musk Predicts Artificial Intelligence Will Spawn An ‘Immortal Dictator’ Who Will End Humanity
Technological innovator Elon Musk is warning humanity that artificial intelligence could one day reach sentience and create for itself an immortal dictatorship “from which we can never escape.”
Speaking to documentary filmmaker Chris Paine, Musk predicted that so-called “super-intelligence” could one day easily outpace its human programmers and take over the world, ultimately subjugating humanity to its robot wishes.
“The least scary future I can think of is one where we have at least democratized AI because if one company or small group of people manages to develop godlike digital superintelligence, they could take over the world,” Musk said, according to a CNBC review of the resulting documentary.
“At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there would be no death. It would live forever. And then you’d have an immortal dictator from which we can never escape.”
Musk is not currently working on a super-intelligence — his focus is instead on manned space flight, ostensibly so that humanity could one day have a path out of a robot dictatorship — but he says the temptation to develop smarter and smarter artificial intelligence is so great, that it’s likely a company like Google won’t be able to resist the pull of an increasingly automated world.
But, Musk warns, the HBO series, “WestWorld” is a good example of what happens once humanity begins the process of replicating itself in robotic form. “If AI has a goal and humanity just happens to be in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it. No hard feelings,” he says.
Musk has also in the past predicted a “third world war” involving a robot military. He’d be pleased to know that some of the world’s first robot soldiers appeared in military training exercises just this week.