Elon Musk warned in a new interview that artificial intelligence could lead to “civilization destruction,” even as he remains deeply involved in the growth of AI through his many companies, including a rumored new venture.
“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production, in the sense that it is, it has the potential — however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial — it has the potential of civilization destruction,” Musk said in a teaser clip Fox News shared of his interview with Tucker Carlson, which is set to air in two parts on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Musk has repeatedly warned recently of the dangers of AI, amid a proliferation of AI products for general consumer use, including from tech giants like Google and Microsoft. Musk last month also joined a group of other tech leaders in signing an open letter calling for a six month pause in the “out of control” race for AI development.
In fact, Musk has been sounding alarms about AI for years – something he acknowledged in a tweet over the weekend – but he has also been a part of the broader AI arms race through investments across his sprawling empire of companies.
Tesla, for example, relies so much on artificial intelligence that it hosts an annual AI day to tout its work. Musk was a founding member of OpenAI, the company behind products like ChatGPT (Musk has said the evolution of OpenAI is “not what I intended at all.”) And at Twitter, Musk said in a tweet last month that he plans to “use AI to detect & highlight manipulation of public opinion on this platform.”
More recently, Musk is reportedly working to build a generative AI startup that could rival OpenAI and ChatGPT. The Financial Times reported last week that Musk is building a team of AI researchers and engineers, as well as seeking investors for a new venture, citing people familiar with the billionaire’s plans. Musk last month incorporated a company called X.AI, the report says, citing Nevada business records.
Musk hinted at this effort in his interview with Carlson, saying, “we’re going to start something which I call TruthGPT.” Musk described it as a “maximum truth-seeking AI” that “cares about understanding the universe.”