We’ve said it before: Elon Musk is a pretty smart guy (understatement much?). The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors is essentially what we would liken to a real-life Tony Stark; if he came out wearing an Iron Man suit tomorrow, nobody would be surprised. So when he spoke candidly about artificial intelligence, warning that its progress is much quicker than any of us realize, possibly posing a danger to humanity, we were bound to get more than a little worried. In a series of emails to Edge.org publisher, John Brockman, that were erroneously shared, Musk puts a timeline on when he sees the development of artificial intelligence becoming worrisome.
“The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most… Please note that I am normally super pro technology and have never raised this issue until recent months. This is not a case of crying wolf about something I don’t understand.”
The point is even more poignant given that Musk has invested heavily into DeepMind, a company that works exclusively on artificial intelligence, and says:
“The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast… Unless you have direct exposure to groups like Deepmind, you have no idea how fast — it is growing at a pace close to exponential”
It’s a view shared by others in the industry, though whether or not this type of thing is 5, 10, or even 20 years away, it’s a discussion that needs to start happening, and if needed, introduce regulations to the industry. Musk is expected to elaborate more publicly on its thoughts on the matter at a future date. Stay tuned.
Side note: Age of Ultron reference anyone? Too soon? Yeah, okay…