One of the biggest things that keeps Elon Musk up at night doesn’t have anything to do with Tesla or SpaceX — in fact, it’s a fear that sounds like something from a science fiction film.
In his new book, “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” Bloomberg reporter Ashlee Vance writes about what Musk is truly afraid of.
Here’s Vance’s account of a conversation he had over dinner with Musk, as it appears in the book:
He opened up about the major fear keeping him up at night: namely that Google’s cofounder and CEO Larry Page might well have been building a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind. “I’m really worried about this,” Musk said. It didn’t make Musk feel any better that he and Page were very close friends and that he felt Page was fundamentally a well-intentioned person and not Dr. Evil. In fact, that was sort of the problem. Page’s nice-guy nature left him assuming that the machines would forever do our bidding. “I’m not as optimistic, Musk said. “He could produce something evil by accident.”
This is not the first time Musk has spoken on the topic of artificial intelligence. He even said it could be the “biggest existential threat to humans” if it’s not regulated properly when speaking at MIT’s annual AeroAstra Centennial Symposium in October.
“With artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon,” he said at the conference.
According to Vance, Musk has always kept tabs on the development of artificial intelligence.