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Tesla's Elon Musk Has Some Concerns About AI

Elon Musk, the CEO and founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has expressed some concerns about artificial intelligence research. In a recent interview, he stated that he saw a "potentially dangerous outcome there" and wanted to keep a close eye on the most advanced firms in the field.

Here's an excerpt from an interview with CNBC on Tuesday with the network's Kelly Evans and Julia Boorstin:

Julia Boorstin: That's amazing. But you did just invest in a company called Vicarious Artificial Intelligence. What is this company?

Elon Musk: Right. I was also an investor in DeepMind before Google acquired it and Vicarious. Mostly I sort of Ė it's not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return. It's really, I like to just keep an eye on what's going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is potentially a dangerous outcome there and we need to Ė

Kelly Evans: Dangerous? How so?

EM: Potentially, yes. I mean, there have been movies about this, you know, like "Terminator."

KE: Well, yes, but movies are ó even if that is the case, what do you do about it? I mean, what dangers do you see that you can actually do something about?

MUSK: I don't know.

JB: Well why did you invest in Vicarious? What exactly does Vicarious do? What do you see it doing down the line?

MUSK: Well, I mean, Vicarious refers to it as recursive cortical networks. Essentially emulating the human brain. And so I think ó

JB: So you want to make sure that technology is used for good and not "Terminator"-like evil?

MUSK: Yeah. I mean, I donít think ó in the movie "Terminator," they didn't create A.I. to ó they didn't expect, you know some sort of "Terminator"-like outcome. It is sort of like the "Monty Python" thing: Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition. Itís just ó you know, but you have to be careful. Yeah, you want to make sure that ó

KE: But here is the irony. I mean, the man who is responsible for some of the most advanced technology in this country is worried about the advances in technology that you aren't aware of.

MUSK: Yeah.

KE: I mean, I guess that is why I keep asking, So what can you do? In other words, this stuff is almost inexorable, isnít it? How if you see that there are these brain-like developments out there can you really do anything to stop it?

MUSK: I don't know.

JB: But what should A.I. Be used for? What's its best value?

MUSK: I don't know. But there are some scary outcomes. And we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad. Yeah.

KE: Or escape to mars if there is no other option.

MUSK: The A.I. will chase us there pretty quickly.

Musk is a brilliant engineer and innovator, and he doesn't waste his time. So, if he has concerns about this technology getting out of hand, it's good to keep and eye on advances in the field.

SF readers have been exposed to many different possible scenarios regarding artificial intelligence, too numerous to mention individually. Take a look at the sfnal technology and ideas, as well as the related news stories, at artificial intelligence in science fiction page here on Technovelgy.

Read more about Vicarious via Daily Mail.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/19/2014)

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