Elon Musk Says AI Is a Bigger Threat Than North Korea

Yes, you read that headline correctly. Elon Musk — Tesla CEO, SpaceX founder, real-world Tony Stark, former presidential cabinet adviser — tweeted that artificial intelligence is more dangerous than North Korea. For a great number of people around the globe, North Korea has risen back into an area of concern. This largely came after U.S. President Donald Trump stirred up a lot of decades-long tensions with North Korea and escalated nuclear warhead discussions.

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In one tweet, Elon Musk effectively said the world should be more concerned with artificial intelligence more than nuclear war.

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, however, Musk seems completely serious in his concern. He followed up that tweet with another tweet about regulations, encouraging all AI to be regulated one day.

That doesn’t mean the responses have been all that serious. There are plenty of Game of Thrones comparisons:

Some reference the late British author Iain M Banks, whose science fiction novels detail Artificial Intelligence gaining sentience.


Not everyone was impressed with Elon Musk’s tweet. Several responses called the comparison uncalled for or outright wrong.

Even still, several people were quick to point out that while Elon Musk hesitates with AI, he’s also one of the biggest developers and supporters of smart technology. Commenters noted that fearing AI above all seemed weird for a guy who wants to connect everyone’s brains with technology via a neural network (or “neural lace,” if you’re Musk).

The most telling tweets that solidified Musk’s point came as a response. Reza Zadeh serves as an adjunct professor at Stanford who specializes in machine learning. He’s also the CEO of the tech company Matroid. He tweeted at Musk: “AI on its own will not be a danger to humans for the foreseeable future. AI combined with weapons, maybe. So regulate weapons, not AI.”

To which Musk responded:

Either way, it seems like the world is doomed no matter which way we look: climate change, ‘impending’ nuclear war, or robotic takeover. We as a humanity just have to pick our poison.

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