Elon Musk warns artificial intelligence is humanity’s biggest threat

By Tim Higgins, MarketWatch

Jul 17, 2017

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At gathering of US governors, Musk calls for the creation of a regulatory body to guide development of AI technology.

Elon Musk warned a gathering of U.S. governors that they need to be concerned about the potential dangers from the rise of artificial intelligence and called for the creation of a regulatory body to guide development of the powerful technology.

Speaking Saturday at the National Governors Association meeting in Rhode Island, the chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla Inc. and rocket-maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp. laid out several worst-case scenarios for AI, saying that the technology will threaten all human jobs and that an AI could even spark a war. “It is the biggest risk that we face as a civilization,” he said.

Musk has been vocal about his concerns about AI and helped create OpenAI, a nonprofit research group that aims for the safe development of the technology. He suggested to the governors that a regulatory agency needs to be formed to begin gaining insight into fast-moving AI development followed by putting regulations into place.

“Right now the government doesn’t even have insight,” he said. “Once there is awareness people will be extremely afraid, as they should be.”

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