In July, Elon Musk reignited the debate around Artificial Intelligence (AI) by saying it poses a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation” and that we must act to prevent the worst. Yet Tesla’s CEO is also actively exploring AI’s potential, having recently raised a $27 million fund to link brains to software.
This is not the first time that Elon Musk has spoken out against AI. He now comes forth to advocate for proactive regulation of AI, before “it’s too late”.
Saying he wants to “keep an eye on what’s going on”, Musk continues, however, to invest in AI-related projects. This August, he raised $27 million worth of equity for Neuralink. The start-up he founded last year hopes to bring to market in four years’ time micro-sized devices to be surgically implanted in people with brain injuries caused by stroke and cancer lesions. Musk believes these devices can also help humans fight the existential threat of artificially intelligent super-computers.
The positive side
Not everyone is as distrustful of AI. The field of health care and medicine may offer some of the most promising opportunities, in projects such as Neuralink, such as performing blood tests in less than a minute or even supporting surgeons in accurate and highly precise movements.
AI is also likely to transform our leisure and creative activities, for instance by helping us to produce our own musical compositions and create playlists based on moods. We may also live to see AI writing a New York Times’ best-selling book (by 2049).
Despite its potential, there is an unsettling side to AI, which HAL 9000 from Kubrick’s “Space Odyssey” still epitomises. This encompasses AI’s capacity to create languages that we cannot understand or the fact that it may outperform humans in terms of efficiency on tasks and costs as soon as 2050. Professors at the MIT Sloan School of Management have warned as well that all the rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them.
To discover more about this flourishing field, have a look at these 10 top AI technologies.