Elon Musk calls AI a 'fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization'

Basically, he's worried about Skynet.

Skynet is a intelligent computer network that caused the end of civilization in the Terminator film franchise. The concept might be fiction, but it's the fear of something similar happening in the real world that triggered a warning from Elon Musk to US governors at an event this weekend. According to Fortune, Musk believes that artificial intelligence is a "fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization." It may sound like hyperbole, but his fears have some logical backing.

When speaking to the governors, Musk called for government regulation when it comes to artificial intelligence. He said that we need to take steps now when the technology is young rather than take steps to react later on. This may come as a shock to some, as Musk hasn't always been a fan of government regulation on technology. He seems genuinely fearful of what AI might mean to humans.

"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," he said. He worries about the potential of job loss and what that may mean for society. Even today, robots have taken over for humans in a wide range of business, including auto manufacturing. Ford and other automakers have entered into partnerships with Silicon Valley tech companies to develop AI.

Still, Musk's fears go far beyond paint booths or assembly lines. "[AI] could start a war by doing fake news and spoofing email accounts and fake press releases, and just by manipulating information," he said.

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