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Elon Musk: AI could turn humans into endangered species



Elon Musk Axios AI
Musk talked to Axios about the future of AI.


  • Elon Musk talked to Axios about his neuroscience and AI
    company Neuralink, which he hopes will achieve “symbiosis”
    between AI technology and humans.
  • He warned that if not handled properly, AI could
    endanger the human race in the same way humans have driven down
    the numbers of other primate species, such as mountain
  • Musk has made similarly alarming claims about AI in the
    past, but not all tech leaders share his fears.

Elon Musk told “Axios on HBO” about his AI company Neuralink, and
its efforts to develop technology that creates a symbiosis
between humans and AI to try and curb the possibility of an
existential threat to humanity.

Neuralink is Musk’s neuroscience company, which is trying to
develop an interface for AI technology with the human brain. He
describes it as “electrode to neuron interface at a micro level,”
or in layman’s terms “a chip and a bunch of tiny wires” that goes
in your brain.

Musk said the long-term goal is to achieve “symbiosis with
artificial intelligence.” He also hopes it would stop governments
and corporations from monopolising the technology.

Read more:

Why Elon Musk’s plan to give us ‘superhuman’ brains is doomed to

He added that artificial intelligence will inevitably exceed
human intelligence. “As the algorithms and the hardware improve,
that digital intelligence will exceed biological intelligence by
a substantial margin,”
he told Axios

He went so far as to suggest that if handled badly, the advent of
general AI — i.e. AI that matches or exceeds human intelligence —
could make humans an endangered species. He used other primates,
which humans have driven to ever smaller corners of the Earth, as
an example.

Mountain gorilla
mountain gorilla.


“When a species of primate, homo sapiens, became much smarter
than other primates, it pushed all the other ones into a very
small habitat… So there are very few mountain gorillas and
orangutans and chimpanzees — monkeys in general,” he said.

Read more:

Elon Musk warns that creation of ‘god-like’ AI could doom mankind
to an eternity of robot dictatorship

A 2017 Conservation International report showed that
more than half of the world’s primates are threatened with
, and experts warned of a “mass extinction event”
caused by agriculture and industrialisation.

Musk said since these animals have been driven into ever smaller
pockets of existence — including zoos — the same could happen to
humans. “That’s one possible outcome for us,” he said.

Musk has made similarly
startling predictions about AI’s potential before
, while

other tech leaders take a less doom-laden view
. Experts in
the field have also
expressed skepticism about Musk’s claims for Neuralink
calling its goals “unrealistic.”

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