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Jack Ma: Artificial intelligence could set off WWIII, but 'humans will win'

  • Jack Ma tells CNBC that artificial intelligence could set off World War III, but humans will ultimately win.
  • The goal of artificial intelligence should be making machines that do things humans cannot do, rather than making them like humans, according to Ma.

Artificial intelligence could set off a third world war, but humans will win the battle, according to Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

"The first technology revolution caused World War I," Ma told CNBC in an interview that aired on Tuesday. "The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution."

Workers and employers are increasingly defined by data unless governments show more willingness to make "hard choices."

Ma said humans will ultimately win the battle against an artificial intelligence takeover, however, as machines will never have the wisdom and experience that comes with being human.

"Wisdom is from the heart," Ma said. "The machine intelligence is by the brain [...] You can always make a machine to learn the knowledge. But it is difficult for machines to have a human heart."

The goal of artificial intelligence should be making machines that do things humans cannot do, rather than making them like humans, Ma said. While "we know the machine is powerful and stronger than us," humans will rise above the impending wave of data and artificial intelligence.

"Humans will win," Ma said. "In 30 years ... we'll see us surviving. "

—CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this report.

WATCH: The full CNBC interview with Alibaba founder Jack Ma