- "One of the biggest risks to the future of civilization is AI," Elon Musk told attendees at the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Musk is co-founder of OpenAI, the U.S. firm which developed the popular generative AI chatbot ChatGPT.
- ChatGPT "has illustrated to people just how advanced AI has become," according to Musk.
ChatGPT shows that artificial intelligence has gotten incredibly advanced — and that it is something we should all be worried about, according to tech billionaire Elon Musk.
"One of the biggest risks to the future of civilization is AI," Musk told attendees at the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, shortly after mentioning the development of ChatGPT.
"It's both positive or negative and has great, great promise, great capability," Musk said. But, he stressed that "with that comes great danger."
The Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter boss was asked about how he sees technology developing 10 years from now.
Musk is co-founder of OpenAI, the U.S. startup that developed ChatGPT — a so-called generative AI tool which returns human-like responses to user prompts.
ChatGPT is an advanced form of AI powered by a large language model called GPT-3. It is programmed to understand human language and generate responses based on huge bodies of data.
ChatGPT "has illustrated to people just how advanced AI has become," according to Musk. "The AI has been advanced for a while. It just didn't have a user interface that was accessible to most people."
Whereas cars, airplanes and medicine must abide by regulatory safety standards, AI does not yet have any rules or regulations keeping its development under control, he added.
"I think we need to regulate AI safety, frankly," Musk said. "It is, I think, actually a bigger risk to society than cars or planes or medicine."
Regulation "may slow down AI a little bit, but I think that that might also be a good thing," Musk added.
The billionaire has long warned of the perils of unfettered AI development. He once said artificial intelligence is "far more dangerous" than nuclear warheads.
His words have more gravity today, as the rise of ChatGPT threatens to upend the job market with more advanced, human-like writing.
Musk left OpenAI's board in 2018 and no longer holds a stake in the company.
"Initially it was created as an open-source nonprofit. Now it is closed-source and for profit. I don't have an open stake in OpenAI, nor am I on the board, nor do I control it in any way."
Part of the reason for Musk's decision to establish OpenAI was because "Google was not paying enough attention to AI safety," he said.
Google fired back at ChatGPT with its own rival tool, called Bard. The company is playing catch-up, as investors question whether ChatGPT will pose a threat to its dominance in web search.