Elon Musk has sounded warning bells on artificial intelligence for quite some time, as he believes it could be a huge threat to society. Now, he’s told the government it could be our biggest risk.
In a July 15 speech at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Rhode Island, Musk said the government needs to proactively regulate artificial intelligence before there is no turning back, describing it as the “biggest risk we face as a civilization.”
“Until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal,” he said in comments obtained by tech website Recode. “AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive. Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late.”
Musk added that regulation of AI needs to be done now because of the bureaucratic nature of it.
“It [regulation] takes forever,” Musk said. “That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”
Musk, along with several other tech luminaries, including Stephen Hawking, have warned about artificial intelligence before. This is believed to be the first time he’s called for premptive regulation surrounding the technology.
The tech billionaire uses artificial intelligence at Tesla to help usher in autonomous driving and is also the co-founder of OpenAI, which describes itself as a “non-profit AI research company, discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence.”
Musk has also started a company, Neuralink, which is designed to connect the human brain to computer software in an effort to replicate the functions.