Is AI Really More Dangerous Than Nukes?

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The fictional Terminator universe, in which artificial intelligence (AI) and robots eventually usurp human beings as rulers of the planet, may not be stranger than truth, after all, at least not in the mind of tech entrepreneur and pro-Bitcoin advocate Elon Musk.

Musk has insisted, more than once, that AI is “far more dangerous” than nuclear weapons. He may have bought himself a lot of room for understanding, given his immense contributions in the field of technology, but it’s worth examining whether or not what he says has any merit.

The man has always been a detractor of AI in terms of its dangers, and he was known to have stated his preference for nukes at a Texas conference last year, after earlier saying AI was more dangerous than North Korea.

Others have criticized him for his outbursts and have called him a fear monger, with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg accusing him of being “pretty irresponsible” and Harvard Professor Steven Pinker not at all agreeing.

Musk does not hold back:

“The biggest issue I see with so-called AI experts is that they think they know more than they do, and they think they are smarter than they actually are.”

He believes that he knows enough about machine intelligence to repeat the foretelling of AI supremacy, just as Stephen Hawking, Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) and even the Terminator have.

And with more and more research, such as this recent paper released by Science Robotics, suggesting that the idea of a world controlled by robots and AI isn’t too far-fetched, one might do well to heed the warnings of our modern-day tech prophets.


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