According to a new article in Vanity Fair, Elon Musk, the man of Tesla cars, batteries to run your home, Spacex trips to Mars and his latest, a GENIUS solar roof, A.I. is not the stuff of sci-fi movies anymore. It’s a REAL threat to human existence…
“At the World Government Summit in Dubai, in February, Musk again cued the scary organ music, evoking the plots of classic horror stories when he noted that “sometimes what will happen is a scientist will get so engrossed in their work that they don’t really realize the ramifications of what they’re doing.” He said that the way to escape human obsolescence, in the end, may be by “having some sort of merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence.” This Vulcan mind-meld could involve something called a neural lace—an injectable mesh that would literally hardwire your brain to communicate directly with computers. “We’re already cyborgs,” Musk told me in February. “Your phone and your computer are extensions of you, but the interface is through finger movements or speech, which are very slow.” With a neural lace inside your skull you would flash data from your brain, wirelessly, to your digital devices or to virtually unlimited computing power in the cloud. “For a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we’re roughly four or five years away.”
Musk’s alarming views on the dangers of A.I. first went viral after he spoke at M.I.T. in 2014—speculating (pre-Trump) that A.I. was probably humanity’s “biggest existential threat.” He added that he was increasingly inclined to think there should be some national or international regulatory oversight—anathema to Silicon Valley—“to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.” He went on:
“With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.” Some A.I. engineers found Musk’s theatricality so absurdly amusing that they began echoing it. When they would return to the lab after a break, they’d say, “O.K., let’s get back to work summoning.”
Musk wasn’t laughing. “Elon’s crusade” (as one of his friends and fellow tech big shots calls it) against unfettered A.I. had begun.”
That’s always a key part of the movie too. There’s the guy who KNOWS this shit is dangerous, and no one listens to him until it’s too late…
The article goes on…
I babbled about the heirs of Klaatu, HAL, and Ultron taking over the Internet and getting control of our banking, transportation, and military. What about the replicants in Blade Runner, who conspire to kill their creator? Yudkowsky held his head in his hands, then patiently explained:
“The A.I. doesn’t have to take over the whole Internet. It doesn’t need drones. It’s not dangerous because it has guns. It’s dangerous because it’s smarter than us. Suppose it can solve the science technology of predicting protein structure from DNA information. Then it just needs to send out a few e-mails to the labs that synthesize customized proteins. Soon it has its own molecular machinery, building even more sophisticated molecular machines.
“If you want a picture of A.I. gone wrong, don’t imagine marching humanoid robots with glowing red eyes. Imagine tiny invisible synthetic bacteria made of diamond, with tiny onboard computers, hiding inside your bloodstream and everyone else’s. And then, simultaneously, they release one microgram of botulinum toxin. Everyone just falls over dead.