Tesla and SpaceX chief, and an early investor in artificial intelligence company OpenAI, billionaire Elon Musk did not hold back his punches while talking about AI in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC’s David Faber.
Musk has famously criticised the once non-profit OpenAI — the owner of ChatGPT — after he invested approximately $50 million into it. He was against it turning into a for-profit business. Speaking to Faber, Musk said that he wanted every one concerned to slowdown the development of AI for a very good reason – human survival. On his role in the AI company, Musk told CNBC, “I am the reason OpenAI exists”.
Regarding AI, Faber started by bringing up the fear expressed by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman during a Senate sub-committee meeting regarding this new technology. Musk quickly added that, “It is a significant area of concern….”
Faber thereafter asked Musk about what chances did he give AI of destroying humanity. Musk replied by calling it a “double-edged sword,” that it could do great damage.
He explained that AI may end up doing a lot of good for humanity, that it may even usher in the “age of abundance”, but there is also a chance that it may cause massive damage. Musk said, “And there’s some chance that it goes wrong and destroys humanity. Hopefully that chance is small, but it’s not zero.”
Musk has famously signed a petition for all work on AI to be paused. Musk said he did it despite knowing that it would be “futile”.
AI in Tesla
Musk, on his thoughts about AI in electric vehicle maker Tesla, made a massive positive and forward-looking, statement, He said, “I think Tesla will have sort of ChatGPT moment maybe if not this year, I’d say no later than next year.”
What would that result in? Musk told CNBC, “Yeah, suddenly 3 million cars will be able to drive themselves with no one.”
He added that this number in turn will ramp up to “5 million, then 10 milion.”