As Fears Over Artificial Intelligence Grow, a Robot Kills a Worker in a German Car Factory

Dan Gunderson/ Associated Press

As fears grow over what might happen if computers gain an intelligence of their own, tax-funded entrepreneur Elon Musk is sinking over $6 million into a research project to study the worst case scenarios.

On Wednesday, the Musk-backed Future of Life Institute announced that it was funding a $7 million project for teams around the world to study the risks of artificial intelligence. A $1.2 million grant from the Open Philanthropy Project was added to the total of $7 million, with the remainder donated by Musk.

“There is this race going on between the growing power of the technology and the growing wisdom with which we manage it,” the president of the Future of Life Institute, Max Tegmark, said. “So far all the investments have been about making the systems more intelligent,;his is the first time there’s been an investment in the other.”

Elon Musk, famed as the father of electric car maker Tesla Motors, has been one of the loudest voices warning that artificial intelligence, or AI, could be a dangerous move for mankind.

Earlier this year, Musk maintained that AI could be the “biggest existential threat to humans” and compared it to “summoning the demon” that will destroy us.

Musk also made news in May when it was reported that few of his enterprises have ever made any money and that his multi-billion dollar business empire is built on government subsidies.

Meanwhile, as thinkers cogitate on the possible futures of AI, a worker in Germany was killed while trying to repair a manufacturing robot in a Kassel, Germany Volkswagen plant.

A 21-year-old contractor was attempting to repair an older generation of assembly line robots when the robot’s giant arm pinned him to a metal cage, breaking bones and causing internal damage. The worker later died of his injuries.

VW is investigating the incident.

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