Elon Musk: 5-10% Chance for Humanity to Survive Artificial Intelligence

Terminator (Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty)
Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty

In speaking to his Neuralink employees, Musk called artificial intelligence a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

The futurist and inventor believes that we have no more than “a five to 10 per cent chance” of successfully making artificial intelligence safe enough not to wipe out the human race. Like many of his peers, Musk advocates serious regulation of AI, and as soon as possible. Musk seeks a proactive approach to what he sees as a potentially deadly worldwide AI crisis, which means that governments must become well-versed in the concepts before such understanding becomes a matter of life and death.

“Normally the way regulations are set up is when a bunch of bad things happen, there’s a public outcry, and after many years a regulatory agency is set up to regulate that industry,” he said. “It takes forever. That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization.”

And Musk is certain that approach will not work for artificially intelligent superweapons: “Once there is awareness, people will be extremely afraid, as they should be… By the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late.”

While Elon Musk’s assertions may, on the surface, sound like the rambling backdrop to a science fiction dystopia, the danger is all too real. Already, arms manufacturers like Kalashnikov are unveiling the autonomous future of mass killing, and Neuralink itself is researching the implementation of brain-computer interfaces using computer hardware implanted into human skulls.

Or, as Musk added, “Sleep well!”

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.


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