Thursday, October 30, 2014

elon musk's fears not completely crazy?


computerworld |  High-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk made headlines when he said artificial intelligence research is a danger to humanity, but researchers from some of the top U.S. universities say he's not so far off the mark. 

"At first I was surprised and then I thought, 'this is not completely crazy,' " said Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. "I actually do think this is a valid concern and it's really an interesting one. It's a remote, far future danger but sometime we're going to have to think about it. If we're at all close to building these super-intelligent, powerful machines, we should absolutely stop and figure out what we're doing." 

Musk, most well-known as the CEO of electric car maker Tesla Motors, and CEO and co-founder of SpaceX , caused a stir after he told an audience at an MIT symposium that artificial intelligence (AI), and research into it, poses a threat to humans. 

"I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence," Musk said when answering a question about the state of AI. "If I were to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it's probably that… With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. In all those stories with the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, and he's sure he can control the demon. It doesn't work out."

He added that there should be regulatory oversight -- at the national and international level -- to "make sure we don't do something very foolish."

Musk's comments came after he tweeted in early August that AI is "potentially more dangerous than nukes."