SpaceX's billionaire founder, Elon Musk, has a plan for putting humanity on Mars, and he's helping usher in a new age of SolarCity electricity and Tesla electric cars — but even he is worried about the potential for a "Terminator"-style robot apocalypse.
"There are some scary outcomes, and we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad, " Musk said on Tuesday during a CNBC interview.
SpaceX's Elon Musk worries that not even the new Dragon V2 spaceship can provide an escape from a "Terminator"-style robot apocalypse. SpaceX
Not even Mars would be safe.
"The A.I. would chase us there pretty quickly, " he said.
The subject came up in the context of Musk's recent investment in an artificial-intelligence company called Vicarious, and his past investment in another A.I. company called DeepMind (which was acquired by Google).
"It's not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return, " the 42-year-old serial entrepreneur explained. "It's really, I like to just keep an eye on what's going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is a potentially dangerous outcome there."
Musk referred to the plot thread in the "Terminator" movies, where (SPOILER ALERT!) increasingly intelligent and malevolent robots take over the world. "They didn't expect some sort of 'Terminator'-like outcome, " he said. "It is sort of like the 'Monty Python' thing: 'Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.'"
Musk's concerns mesh with the worries raised a decade ago by Sun Microsystems' Bill Joy, as well as the projection by Google's in-house futurist, Ray Kurzweil, who says computers will match human intelligence by 2029. Musk had no prescription for managing the rise of A.I., other than to say "you have to be careful."
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