Elon Musk thinks Artificial Intelligence can trigger World War 3

Clearly, Tesla founder Elon Musk is not a huge fan of Artificial Intelligence. But, does he have a point about the threats that AI pose to the mankind?

| Updated on: Sep 04 2017, 17:34 IST
Artificial Intelligence (Shutterstock image)
Artificial Intelligence (Shutterstock image)
Artificial Intelligence (Shutterstock image)
Artificial Intelligence (Shutterstock image)

Even as top technology firms such as Facebook, Google and Intel are aggressively pushing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Tesla founder Elon Musk has been quite vocal about the negative aspects of the technology. Musk recently got into a brief verbal dual on this issue with Mark Zuckerberg, who unlike Musk has been pro AI. The Tesla founder now has made another bold claim about the risk AI involves: World War 3.

Musk was responding to Russia's President Vladimir Putin's claim that the country that has the best efficiency in AI will rule the planet in the future. "AI is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world," Silicon Republic quoted Putin as saying.

"If we become leaders in this area, we will share this know-how with entire world, the same way we share our nuclear technologies today," he added.

In response, Musk Tweeted, "China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo."

Musk elaborated on what he actually meant by saying AI will cause the World War 3, saying that neither the US, China nor Russia will intentionally begin a nuclear war but it could be one of the "AI's, if it decides that a prepemptive strike is most probable path to victory."

On the ongoing tension between North Korea and the US and a potential nuclear warfare, Musk commented, "NK launching a nuclear missile would be suicide for their leadership, as SK, US and China wd invade and end the regime immediately."

It's not the first time Musk has let the world know about his suspicion about the AI. Last month, he joined 116 signatories who wrote to the United Nations (UN) seeking an interference global arms race in autonomous weapons. The letter urged the UN and its Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems to "to work hard at finding means to prevent an arms race in these weapons, to protect civilians from their misuse and to avoid the destabilising effects of these technologies."

"Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend," the letter read. "These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways. We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora's box is opened, it will be hard to close."

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First Published Date: 04 Sep, 17:25 IST