Elon Musk Likens Artificial Intelligence To Summoning A Demon



NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Elon Musk has met a technology he doesn’t like.
Musk, who promises to take humans to new heights with space and battery technologies, was especially grounded in his latest caution on artificial intelligence.
He told an audience at MIT on Friday that “we should be very careful about artificial intelligence,” warning it may be “our biggest existential threat.”
“With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon,” he said.
“In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon,” he continued, to some laughs from the audience.
Musk then cracked a smile: “Didn’t work out.”
His Tesla (TSLA) electric vehicles and SpaceX rockets, which recently won a multi-billion dollar contract with NASA, have pushed the limits of their respective technologies.Musk hasn’t embraced artificial intelligence, a field of study at MIT and other schools with significant ethical considerations and business potential. He has previously cautioned it is “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”
But he has invested in artificial intelligence companies – because, he told CNN’s Rachel Crane recently, he wanted “to keep an eye on them.”
“I wanted to see how artificial intelligence was developing,” Musk said in the CNN interview. Among his questions: “Are companies taking the right safety precautions?”
On Friday, Musk was responding to a question about whether artificial intelligence was “even close to being ready for prime time?”
“I’m increasingly inclined to think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish,” Musk said.
Tech entrepreneur Marc Andreessen – of Netscape fame – is on the same page. Don’t be “freaked out” by Musk’s comments, he seemed to say on Twitter.
“Famous last words. Actually, they would be famous … if there were any humans left alive to hear them,” Musk posted in response.
Andreessen replied: “Sadly, that also means you’ll get no credit for being right.”


I suppose it’s possible we could end up with the same problem God’s got - as soon as he grants a creature the ability to think for itself, He runs the risk of rebellion aka evil.

So I suppose Musk could be right, in the sense that if we give a “creature” of our own making artificial intelligence, we could well experience first hand what happens when we let it have “freedom”.

In our case we have the added problem that we are fallen ourselves, so the chances are we’ll probably bias any artificial intelligence towards evil - I’d bet a pound to a penny that the most formidable artificial intelligence around today is being closely watched, and possibly used, by the military.


Musk is worrying about science fiction. There are a lot of great stories about artificial intelligence taking over the world or the universe. Stories like that make headlines because people fear the unknown. They fear what they don’t understand, and most people don’t understand computers and they don’t really understand intelligence. I mean we all have a subjective experience of our own intelligence, and we all observe intelligence in others, but no mortal knows how to create an intelligence. At this time there is nothing artificial that comes anywhere close to human intelligence.


Very good analysis! :thumbsup:


I think it’s pretty obvious that the only thing needed to make science fiction turn into science fact is time. It is only a matter of time before we create AI. And with scientific discovery growing at an exponential rate…most people who investigate this field seem to think that this is around the corner, so to speak.


The nature in which computers process data makes artificial intelligence like what this article is talking about more or less impossible. We can only create one kind of independently thinking being, and that’s another human with God’s help. We can’t make a “thinking” robot. Mainly because we can’t program a robot to truly think. They can’t make choices. Any intelligence they have is based on a binary true-false 1-0 system, and/or algorithms. We can’t create a freely independent brain. It’s all based on parameters that we the programmers set. A computer can’t be programmed with or develop free will.


Elon Musk may have dived into the musings of Ray Kurzweil.


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