Show Notes: Elon Musk and A.I.
Elon Musk appeared on Joe Rogan’s Podcast a week ago and while headlines in papers around the world focuses in on a pitiful puff he took off of a blunt, his thoughts Artificial Intelligence should have stolen the show.
First we go to last year (2017), when he saw A.I. as being akin to Summoning a Demon: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/11/elon-musk-issues-a-stark-warning-about-a-i-calls-it-a-bigger-threat-than-north-korea.html
Now some excerpts from recent articles, post-Rogan show.
During the same interview, Musk spoke to Rogan about how Facebook and Twitter were examples of “cybernetic collectives of people and machines” where humans are “plugged in like nodes on a network, leaves on a big tree.” Humans are “collectively programming the A.I.” by feeding it information, in effect making humans the “biological bootloader for A.I.” The comments echo previous statements that humans and machines need to develop a symbiotic relationship before it’s too late and humans become enslaved, a key focus of his new firm Neuralink.
Musk's fears on the subject of AI are well documented, but he told Rogan that he worries about it less these days because he has adopted a "fatalistic attitude."
"It's not necessarily bad, it's just it's definitely going to be outside of human control," he said. According to Musk the big danger going forward will be that people will weaponize AI, and in July he signed a pledge along with various other tech leaders never to develop lethal autonomous weapons.
AI has already been weaponised to an extent, and has military applications such as targeting software in drones. It also has vast potential for weaponisation in cyberspace, and an Oxford professor told Business Insider that this is where the real danger lies, as it could autonomously escalate an international conflict.
So there’s this “If You Can’t Beat ‘em, Join ‘em” shift that has taken place with Musk, and it’s not necessarily because the danger on the horizon has been blown out to sea; it’s because Musk doesn’t see any real way we’re going to be able to stop the singularity—the merging of man and machine.
He pointed out that we already are cybernetic organisms in a way that the phone is always at the end of our hands, but that soon, if we don’t find a way to create a neural link between the A.I. and our brains, the technology is going to far outpace our intelligence. And now Musk wants to be on that cutting edge.
Do we need to find a way to upgrade humanity? Will humanity itself will be made obsolete by its own creations? Are you ready to fight the robot war?