Elon Musk may be a billionaire with a life most of us can only dream of, but even the mega-rich have to worry about something.
The Tesla founder has spoken out to reveal his estimation of the likelihood of humanity being destroyed by artificial intelligence – and it’s bad news for anyone who’s not a computer.
In a Rolling Stone article, Musk is quoted as saying our species has about a one in 10 or even one in 20 chance of surviving the rise of the machines.
“Maybe there’s a five to 10 percent chance of success,” he said.
He described the unrestrained development of artificial intelligence as a ‘threat to humanity’ and said it represents ‘an extreme level of power’.
When Musk is not trying to launch a manned mission to Mars or announcing the release of a new Tesla electric car, he seems to enjoy a good old-fashioned bit of doom-mongering.
In August, he said that AI posed more of a risk to the world than North Korea and called for urgent regulation to control its development.
Musk said that North Korea ‘should be low on our list of concerns for civilisational existential risk’ and predicted that World War III will be caused by AI.
In 2015, Stephen Hawking joined technology experts including Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in calling for a ban on ‘offensive autonomous weapons’ – the name for robotic killing machines.
Professor Hawking and 1,000 other colleagues signed a letter presented at the opening of the 2015 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina. T
The letter suggested that death ‘bots could drive a ‘third revolution in warfare’ and slaughter humans on a truly dreadful scale.