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Elon Musk Believes Artificial Intelligence Will be Most Likely Cause of Third World War

Elon Musk's concerns were prompted by a statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in which he predicted that whoever takes the lead in AI will become the ruler of the world.


Updated:September 4, 2017, 8:31 PM IST
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Elon Musk Reveals Mass Transit System "Loop" That Travels at 240km/h Inside City at Just $1 (Image used for representational purpose. Image: Reuters)

Billionaire tech executive Elon Musk has once again made an ominous warning about artificial intelligence, this time suggesting that it could be the reason for a third world war.

His concerns were prompted by a statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in which he predicted that whoever takes the lead in AI will become the ruler of the world.

Musk, who has vocalized his fear of AI repeatedly, chimed in on the subject at 2:30 am local time on Monday, clearly showing that such a prospect is giving him sleepless nights.

“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind… It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” Putin had said.

Quoting an article with Putin’s above statement, Musk tweeted, “It begins.” “China, Russia, soon all countries with strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo (sic),” he wrote.

In a series of tweets in which he hashed out his thoughts, the Tesla founder said that he was not just worried about the prospect of a world leader starting the war, but also of an overcautious AI deciding “that a (pre-emptive) strike is (the) most probable path to victory”.

Known for his bold predictions, he also envisioned a scenario where governments could forcefully obtain AI systems developed by companies “at gunpoint, if necessary.” “Governments don’t need to follow normal laws,” he tweeted.

While United States is widely believed to be leading the charge towards AI currently, a report by investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted that China could soon catch up with the US.

He also said he was not worried about North Korea launching a nuclear strike. “NK launching a nuclear missile would be suicide for their leadership, as South Korea, US and China would invade and end the regime immediately,” he wrote.

Musk’s fears of AI warfare has been a driving force in his statements recently. Last month, he had snapped at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after he rejected fears of a super-intelligence running amok as “far-fetched”. Musk said he had come to the conclusion that Zuckerberg’s understanding of the subject is “limited.”

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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