With so many companies working on Artificial Intelligence at the minute and the consensus in the field being that this will lead to Artificial General Intelligence (the type seen in films like Terminator with SkyNet) should we be worried, is there a need to look at regulating this area of Technology? Well Elon Musk has long advocated that regulation is required for Artificial Intelligence warning time and time again that it poses an exponential threat to humanity. At the National Governors Association summer meeting over the weekend Musk repeated these sentiments to the Governors in attendance, highlighting that we need to start regulating AI right now.
“I have exposure to the very cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it,” Musk told the the attendees of the NGA summer meeting. “…until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal.” Mush addressed that the solution is regulation; “AI is a rare case where we need to be proactive about regulation instead of reactive. Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late.” He continued by highlighting that the current model of legislation whereby governments only step-in after a bunch of bad things happen and then public outcry causes them to start looking at regulating that area, however we are still talking a few years later that regulation will come into effect. Musk expands on this by further highlighting that this model is inadequate for Artificial Intelligence because it represents “a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization.”.
Musk jokes how regulation does have a use and we need to ensure areas are not over regulated but they need some regulation e.g. the FAA “if you ask the average person, hey do you wanna get rid of the FAA and just like take a chance on manufactures not cutting corners on aircraft because profits were down that quarter, well hell no that sounds terrible”.
If you want to Watch Musk’s interview you can in full below, his remarks surrounding AI are at about 48 minutes in until about 54 minutes and also at about 1 hour 16 minutes he gets a question from Governor Hickenlooper surrounding the risk of AI.