Days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the first global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) would “become the ruler of the world,” Elon Musk warned that AI could be the cause of World War III.
According to CNBC, Musk tweeted on Monday: “China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo.”
“Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world,” he said at a meeting with students Friday.
The United States is generally considered to be leading the charge toward AI, with tech giants like Google and Microsoft spending heavily on research and development projects, but a recent report by Goldman Sachs found that China could have the AI capability to catch up with the U.S.
“We believe AI technology will become a priority on the government’s agenda, and we expect further national/regional policy and funding support on AI to follow,” the investment bank said.
In fact, Musk went on to tweet that he was skeptical that North Korea could launch its own nuclear weapon, writing, “NK launching a nuclear missile would be suicide for their leadership, as SK, US and China wd invade and end the regime immediately.”
Instead, he is more worried about AI. Musk signed a letter with other leaders in robotics last month, including Google Deep Mind's Mustafa Suleyman, calling on the United Nations to ban killer robots. And in July, he warned that AI has the potential to start a war via providing fake news or spoofing email accounts.
“I have access to the very most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it. AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive. Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization in a way that car accidents, airplane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not,” Musk said.