Elon Musk Warns Artificial Intelligence Is Not Good For Civilization

Elon Musk says the unrestrained development of artificial intelligence poses an existential threat to humanity and we need to regulate AI safety.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Artificial intelligence a.i. program

Elon Musk says the unrestrained development of artificial intelligence poses an existential threat to humanity. The Tesla boss expressed his concerns during a virtual appearance at the World Government Summit in Dubai this week. “One of the biggest risks to the future of civilization is AI,” he told attendees.

Noting that artificial intelligence could provide humanity with unmatched capability, Elon Musk also stressed that it presents a great danger. “I mean, look at the discovery of nuclear physics. You had nuclear power generation but also nuclear bombs,” he said via the New York Post. The Tesla CEO made the comments when asked how he sees technology developing in 10 years.

Interestingly, Elon Musk is the co-founder of OpenAI which developed ChatGPT. The generative AI program uses Natural Language Processing to generate text-based dialogue and mimic human conversation. It is powered by a large language model called GPT-3 which is programmed to understand several languages and generate responses based on huge bodies of data, CNBC reports.

According to Elon Musk, ChatGPT has illustrated just how advanced artificial intelligence has become. “The AI has been advanced for a while. It just didn’t have a user interface that was accessible to most people,” he explained. The billionaire also called on governments to develop clear safety guardrails for the rapidly advancing technology.

“I think we need to regulate AI safety,” Elon Musk said, pointing out that any technology which is potentially a risk to people has regulatory bodies that oversee public safety. Using cars, planes, and medicine as an example, he added, “I think we should have a similar set of regulatory oversight for artificial intelligence because I think it is actually a bigger risk to society.”

While regulation may slow down the development of artificial intelligence, Elon Musk believes that may be a good thing. This isn’t the first time the billionaire expressed his concerns about unchecked AI development. But his words have more gravity now as ChatGPT threatens to upend the job market with more advanced, human-like writing.

According to CNBC, Elon Musk left the OpenAI board in 2018 and no longer holds a stake in the company. His reason for establishing the technology was due to Google not paying enough attention to AI safety. “Initially it was created as an open-source nonprofit. Now it is closed-source and for profit. I do I control it in any way,” he told the Dubai conference.

Elon Musk also made headlines about his plans for Twitter during the summit. The business mogul said he expects to find a CEO to replace him toward the end of 2023. “I need to stabilize the organization and make sure it’s in a financially healthy place,” he said.

“I’m guessing probably toward the end of this year would be good timing to find someone else to run the company,” he added. Elon Musk also tweeted a photo of his dog sitting behind a desk at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco with the caption, “The new CEO of Twitter is amazing.”