Elon Musk And A Call To Vigilance

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has expressed serious concern for the future of humankind if research and development of Artificial Intelligence is allowed to continue without serious regulation. Musk has said unabated growth toward a digital super-intelligence, which would far exceed that of humans, is a scenario wherein AI could take over the world. It would only need one person, a small group, or a company to develop such digital super-intelligence, and the foundation for world domination and supremacy will have have been laid. 

The worst case scenario would entail a network of computers around the world, all melding their electronic power and information into the making of one digital dictator. Every bit of information recorded about anyone who has ever lived would be accessible to this god-like machine. It would make any and all calculations in a fraction of a second, manage the world’s economy, and control weapons anywhere on or off the planet. It would be completely autonomous. And this digital dictator would never die. 

Having long been a vocal critic of unchecked AI growth, Musk has called it humanity’s greatest existential threat. In 2015, he joined other renowned science and technology researchers, including Stephen Hawking, in urging the United Nations to ban killer robots.  

He believes AI poses much more risk to the world than a regime like North Korea, and has suggested initiating a federal oversight program whose purpose would be to monitor the technology’s growth. The ultimate goal is to maintain vigilance, to make certain we never allow the development of an immortal dictator who could destroy humankind if they got in its way. 

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