Elon Musk says AI will outsmart humans in 5 years
For years, Elon Musk, the billionaire tech mogul who leads Tesla, SpaceX, and has placed many futuristic bets, has been raising alarms over the dangers of artificial intelligence — and the urgent need for its regulation. Now, echoing the same, Musk has claimed that, at the current pace of development, AI will outsmart biological human intelligence pretty soon. Here's more on what he said.
Conversation around AI in recent interview
In a recent interview with The New York Times' Maureen Dowd, Musk touched on a range of topics, including the progressive evolution of artificial intelligence. He said, going by the current trends, "We are headed toward a situation where AI is vastly smarter than humans, and I think that time frame is less than five years from now."
Previously, this situation was estimated by 2045
The estimate from Musk marks a major revision over the previous time frame suggested for the hypothesized "technological singularity" or the moment when machines reach a level of intelligence that exceeds that of humans. Previously, American inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil had suggested this moment will be a reality by 2045, thanks to major advances in technologies like robotics, computing, and AI.
Things won't go to hell, at least in the beginning
When highlighting the impending super-advancement of AI, Musk clarified that this tipping point "doesn't mean that everything goes to hell in five years. It just means that things get unstable or weird." To recall, in the past, he has warned about various dangers of AI, starting from things like manipulation of social media and internet takedowns to killer robots and WW3 for AI dominance.
Musk's AI warning a few years ago
Colleagues in tech not wary of AI risks, he added
Among other things, Musk told Dowd that his colleagues in technology world are not wary of the dangers associated with unchecked AI advancement. "My assessment about why AI is overlooked by very smart people is that very smart people do not think a computer can ever be as smart as they are. And this is hubris and obviously false," he added.
Here is one of Musk's tweets on the matter
Musk believes regulation, man-machine symbiosis is essential
As Musk has repeatedly emphasized, the present and future dangers of AI can be potentially avoided by regulating its advanced development and merging human and machine intelligence. In fact, Musk is already running Neuralink, a start-up that aims to achieve this man-machine symbiosis with a brain-computer interface, which will ensure the "democratization of intelligence" by keeping it from staying in a purely digital form.
He also invested in DeepMind, co-founded OpenAI
Along with the efforts at Neuralink, Musk had also invested in AI company DeepMind and co-founded an AI research lab called OpenAI. The DeepMind investment, he said, was to keep a track of the organization's AI developments. In 2014, however, Google acquired DeepMind and has since been working on an algorithm that "crushes all humans at all games," per Musk. Musk is now critical of DeepMind.
Meanwhile, OpenAI has created a powerful text generator
Since getting to work, the team at OpenAI has made significant advancements with its GPT AI-based language model. Just recently, they announced the GPT-3 algorithm, which can automatically write an entire article, poem, or code by reading certain patterns from a given text.