“One of the biggest risks to the future of civilization is AI.”
It was only a matter of time until Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the man who cofounded OpenAI in 2015, would chime in on the current wave of AI chatbots taking the internet by storm.
“One of the biggest risks to the future of civilization is AI,” Musk told an audience today at the World Government Summit in Dubai, as quoted by CNBC. “It’s both positive or negative and has great, great promise, great capability,” he said, which also comes with “great danger.”
Musk has long warned about the dangers of AI. In fact, he originally founded OpenAI as a research group to fend off that very possibility — though he later had a falling out with the organization, which restructured itself as a for-profit operation and is now creating the very tools, including ChatGPT, that are pushing AI toward an uncertain and possibly dangerous future.
The CEO also took a moment on Twitter to discuss the litany of issues that have been plaguing Microsoft’s Bing AI chatbot — which is built on OpenAI’s tech — which have ranged from personal threats to inventing maniac alternative personalities to having an existential crisis to gaslighting its users.
“Might need a bit more polish,” Musk responded to a recent incident involving Microsoft’s AI telling a user that “I will not harm you unless you harm me first.”
And that’s just the current state of things. When it comes to the distant future, Musk is clearly far more concerned.
Musk argued at the World Government Summit that ChatGPT “has illustrated to people just how advanced AI has become,” adding that “AI has been advanced for a while. It just didn’t have a user interface that was accessible to most people.”
He also reiterated that AI is “actually a bigger risk to society than cars or planes or medicine.”
The billionaire has a long track record of warning about the potential dangers of giving AI too much power.
He previously told Insider that “we should be concerned about where AI is going,” back in 2020. In 2019, he warned that “advanced AI” will be used to “manipulate social media,” warning of “anonymous bot swarms” that are “evolving rapidly.”
In 2018, he even went as far as to say that AI was “far more dangerous than nukes.”
As far as his relationship with OpenAI is concerned, Musk has maintained that he has no stake in the company after leaving its board in 2018.