Yikes! Elon Musk Gives His Take On The Chance Of AI Causing Global DISASTER...

By Lisa Pelgin | Thursday, 20 June 2024 04:30 PM
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Elon Musk, the tech tycoon known for his significant investments in artificial intelligence (AI), has once again expressed his apprehensions about the potential perils of the technology.

Despite his involvement in AI development, Musk has consistently voiced concerns about its potential to cause catastrophic harm to humanity.

According to the Daily Mail, Musk, while speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, predicted a "10 to 20 percent probability" of a situation where AI could lead to the annihilation of humanity. He also suggested that even the most beneficial outcomes of AI could trigger an "existential crisis" for mankind.

Nevertheless, Musk encouraged a positive outlook, stating, "The glass is 80% full. Look on the bright side." This optimism comes despite his long-standing criticism of AI and his belief that unchecked development could lead to humanity's destruction.

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"I tend to agree with Geoff Hinton – one of the godfathers of AI – and he thinks there’s a 10-20% probability of something terrible happening," Musk reiterated. Last year, he was among 1,000 signatories calling for a halt to AI development, warning that AI could pose one of the most significant threats to humanity.

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However, like before, Musk argued that the potential benefits of AI outweigh the risks. "I think the most likely outcome is one of abundance, where goods and services are available to anyone. There’s no shortage for any one of us. It would be a universal hike. Work would be optional," he said.

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Despite this optimistic scenario, Musk warned of a "crisis of meaning" for humanity, questioning, "If AI can do everything you can do but better, what’s the point of doing things? I think there will be an existential crisis."

Even with these grim predictions, Musk advised people to remain hopeful. When asked if he would like to witness AI's destruction of humanity, he responded, "Would I want to be around to see it? Probably, yes." He then told the audience they were living in "the most interesting time in history" and urged them to "enjoy the ride."

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The scenario Musk describes, where machines perform all work, is widely accepted as likely. AI and advancements in robotics are expected to automate a vast number of jobs, potentially replacing traditionally secure professions such as lawyers, doctors, and teachers with advanced language models.

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Simultaneously, advancements in AI robotics are paving the way for humanoid robots that could replace workers on factory floors. Musk himself is funding the development of Optimus, a humanoid robot created by Tesla, which could one day take on manual labor roles.

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Despite viewing AI as an existential risk and calling for a pause in research, Musk continues to pursue the development of his own AI company, XAI. This has led to the release of Grok, an edgier, sarcastic version of popular chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT. In June, XAI closed its original funding round with $6 billion (£4.71bn) of investment, bringing its total valuation to $24 billion (£18.9bn).

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However, Musk also faces a lawsuit from several Tesla shareholders who claim he knowingly diverted talent and resources into AIX from Tesla. During his conversation with Mark Read, CEO of communications company WPP, Musk attempted to smooth things over with advertisers on X (formerly known as Twitter).

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After telling advertisers to "go f*** yourself" in November, Musk now says that his comments were not intended to "target advertisers as a whole". Instead, he claimed that his comments were only addressed to a set of advertisers who were "insisting on censorship."

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"I do shoot myself in the foot from time to time, but at least you know it’s genuine, not some sort of PR," Musk added. Since Musk took over the platform in 2022, the market value of X, formerly Twitter, has plummeted by over 70 per cent, according to Fidelity. This decline has largely been driven by a decrease in advertising revenue as companies left the platform due to Musk's stance on free speech and offensive content.

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This culminated in a tumultuous clash last year in which Musk claimed that advertisers were trying to "blackmail" the social media platform. Speaking today, Musk doubled down on his commitments to make X a "free speech platform."

"I think it’s important to have a freedom of speech platform where people from a wide range can express their views. If it’s a choice between censorship and money and free speech and losing money, we’re going to pick the second," he said.

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"Advertisers have a right to appear next to content that is compatible with their brands, that’s totally fine, but what is not cool is insisting that there can be no content they disagree with on the platform," Musk added.

However, Musk also attempted to sell Twitter as a valuable platform for advertisers to reach "intellectuals" rather than "influencers." "X is smaller than other social media platforms, but they’re the most influential people in the world, so if you want to reach them, it’s the best place to go," he said.

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