Elon Musk on how we can (hopefully) prevent evil AIs like Skynet or Cylons

Contributed by
Oct 28, 2014

As humanity dives headlong into the digital revolution, billionaire Elon Musk has chimed in on what is probably our biggest threat. Not surprisingly, it’s Cylons. Well, kind of.

Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, recently spoke at a MIT’s AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the university’s first aeronautics class. As Tor notes, he touched on everything from space exploration to technology in general — but his take on humanity’s biggest threat is very intriguing.

Though Musk is working hard and pumping in millions to help humanity find a new home in the stars, he notes that we might want to take a good warning from sci-fi classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey to ensure we actually make it. Also see: Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, Age of Ultron and myriad other sci-fi tales of artificial intelligence gone rogue.

Check out the key excerpt below, where Musk throws out an idea of how to keep computers from killing us all: 

“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So, we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence.

I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence, we’re summoning the demon. You know those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram, and the holy water, and he’s like... Yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.”

Creating some type of oversight before we actually go out and turn on Skynet? Not a bad idea at all. We’re curious creatures, and we like to push boundaries as far as they’ll go before they break. But as Musk notes, we’ll pretty much be screwed if we build Cylons before we actually realize we’ve built them.

What do you think? Will oversight help save us from evil robots?

(Via Tor)

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