The man who wants his cars to make their own decisions is ironically warning against the technology driving it.
Artificial intelligence (AI), especially a deep human-like intelligence embedded in a computer network, is dangerous, Elon Musk warns.
“Well you say, ‘What harm could a deep intelligence in the network do?’ Well it could start a war,” he said.
That doomsday scenario is not new. Mr Musk said three years ago that “with artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon”.
Last year, Google’s AI project Deep Mind crushed the world’s best player of the Chinese strategy game GO – years ahead of predictions.
Deep Mind has also just released a study where it created a programme that taught itself to walk, jump and avoid obstacles.
New Zealand’s also involved in the debate with Kiwi company Soul Machines, which is working with a major unnamed American software company in developing avatars which can socialise with humans.
An industry body has also just been launched here called the AI Forum.
It wants large scale research into the implications and opportunities for New Zealand, and doesn’t necessarily agree AI means the end of mankind.
“What you are talking about artificial general intelligence, which is when a machine can think like a human can do, I think that’s a very, very long way away,” AI Forum’s Ben Reid told Newshub.
But Mr Musk says act now, not later.
“Because what’s going to happen robot are going to be able to everything better than us, I mean all of us.”