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Elon Musk’s nightmarish warning: AI could become ‘an immortal dictator from which we would never escape’

Elon Musk and film director Chris Paine introduced the “Do You Trust This Computer” premiere Thursday in Westwood, Calif. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Best Events)

Among his many warnings about the rise of artificial intelligence, Elon Musk has said that autonomous machines are more dangerous to the world than North Korea and could unleash “weapons of terror.” He has compared the adoption of AI to “summoning the devil.”

Now the billionaire inventor and Tesla chief executive — who believes artificial intelligence could help trigger the next world war — has issued another severe warning about how super-intelligent machines could come to dominate the world. Those super computers could become “an immortal dictator from which we would never escape,” Musk passionately warns in the new documentary “Do You Trust This Computer?”

Elon Musk calls for ban on killer robots before ‘weapons of terror’ are unleashed

In the documentary, directed by Chris Paine (the man behind 2006’s “Who Killed The Electric Car?”), Musk joins a growing chorus of experts warning that intelligent machines are already fundamentally changing our society by amassing personal data, advancing science and medicine and beginning to create new forms of super intelligence.

“We are rapidly headed towards digital super intelligence that far exceeds any human,” Musk says in the film, which premiered Thursday in Los Angeles. “I think it’s very obvious.”

The film features technology experts such as Google Brain founder Andrew Ng, Affectiva chief executive Rana el Kaliouby, Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, OpenAI director Shivon Zilis and “Westworld” co-creator Jonathan Nolan. Artificial intelligence already helps us live longer and enhance efficiency in numerous industries, but these experts argue that humans are already losing their grip on the technology, giving it power and abilities that humanity may never be able to reclaim.

“The pattern here is that AI might take a little while to wrap its tentacles around a new skill, but when it does it is unstoppable,” the film’s trailer warns.

In recent years, Musk’s warnings about the risks posed by AI have grown increasingly strident — drawing pushback last year from Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who called Musk’s dark predictions “pretty irresponsible.” Responding to Zuckerberg, Musk said his fellow tech billionaire’s understanding of the threat posed by artificial intelligence “is limited.”

According to a report by Mashable, Musk was so intent on spreading his warnings about AI to the public that he paid for “Do You Trust This Computer” to be streamed free on YouTube over the weekend.

“It’s a very important subject,” he said at the film’s premiere, according to Mashable. “It’s going to affect our lives in ways we can’t even imagine right now.”


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