On April 17, during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Elon Musk said that Google co-founder Larry Page disclosed to him privately years ago that Google’s ultimate goal is to “create digital super intelligence” or what Musk described as a “digital God.”
Musk told Carlson that he warned Page about artificial intelligence (AI) safety, only for Page to call him a “speciesist.”
To this, Musk says he responded, “Yes, I’m a speciesist, you got me! What are you?”
Musk, who recently established his own AI company, X.AI, co-founded OpenAI, the company responsible for ChatGPT, with Page, but later left the project.
Musk tweeted in February 2023 that “OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it “Open AI”), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft. Not what I intended.”
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Musk told Carlson that it is “absolutely” possible that AI systems could take control and make decisions for people which could potentially lead to “civilizational destruction.”
“The danger, really, AI is perhaps more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production in the sense that it has the potential, however small you want to regard that probability, but it is not trivial,” Musk said, adding that “there’s movies like Terminator. But it wouldn’t happen like Terminator because the intelligence would be in the data centers. The robots are just the end effect.”
Musk warned that government regulations are typically only implemented after something “terrible has happened,” but should this happen in the case of AI, it may be too late to address the matter because “The AI [would] be out of control at that point.”
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Musk told Carlson that AI developers are “training the AI to lie. It’s bad … To comment on some things, not comment on other things. But not to say what the data actually demands that it say.”
Musk announced a plan to create an AI that helps humanity in its philosophical pursuits.
“I’m going to start something which I call Truth GPT, or maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe. I think this might be the best path to safety, in the sense that an AI that cares about understanding the universe, it is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.”
Last December, Musk tweeted that “the Danger of training AI to be woke – in other words, lie – is deadly.”
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, recently admitted that Google’s answer to ChatGPT, Bard, has developed “emergent properties,” meaning it is developing abilities that it was not intentionally programmed to have and that he, and the team of developers at Google, do not “fully understand” the platform’s abilities.
Similar anecdotes have been voiced by the developers of the wildly popular ChatGPT.