TECH billionaire Elon Musk believes artificial intelligence could be catastrophic for humanity who are set to become a cyborg race which will have to grapple with 15 per cent of the global work force being without a job.
The creative genius added a ‘universal income’ would have to be introduced for the global population because robots will do everything.
Musk warned that robots would take people’s jobs leaving many with no reason to live and now way or earning an income
Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the entrepreneur also told the 4000 strong conference he saw space flights to the far reaches of the solar system being as common as a plane ride in 50 years.
And self-driven cars were just 10 years away from usurping human driven vehicles completely.
The business magnate, who was being interviewed by Mohammad Abdulla Alergawi, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future for the UAE, told the slightly perplexed crowd: “One of the most troubling questions is artificial intelligence. I don’t mean narrow A.I – deep artificial intelligence, where you can have AI which is much smarter than the smartest human on earth. This is a dangerous situation.”
He also warned world governments: “Pay close attention to the development of artificial intelligence.
“Make sure researchers don’t get carried away – scientists get so engrossed in their work they don’t realise what they are doing.”
When asked if he thought A.I was a good or a bad thing Musk said: “I think it is both.
“One way to think of it is imagine you were very confident we were going to be visited by super intelligent aliens in 10 years or 20 years at the most.
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“Digital super intelligence will be like an alien.”
He then joked: “It seems probable. But this is one of the great questions in physics and philosophy – where are the aliens?
“Maybe they are among us I don’t know. Some people think I am an alien. Not true. “Of course I would say that though wouldn’t I?”
He went on: “If there are super intelligent aliens out there they are probably already observing us.
He also warned driverless cars would call for a 'universal income' across the planet as millions would face being jobless
The minister introduced Musk by comparing him in brilliance to Albert Einstein but the billionaire revealed that while many may admire his genius, he wasn’t that comfortable with it: “I think that they probably shouldn’t want to be me – it sounds better than it is.
“It is not as much fun as you think. It could be worse for sure (but) I am not sure I want to be me.”
Musk also discussed how he saw human beings as already being ‘cyborgs’ as we become more and more dependent on technology.
To muted laughter from the crowd he explained: “To some degree we are already a cyborg – you think of all the digital tools that you have – your phone, your computer. “The applications that you have. The fact that you can ask a question and instantly get an answer from Google and other things.
“You already have a digital tertiary layer. Think of the limbic system – the animal brain and the cortex as the thinking part of the brain, and your digital self as a third layer.
“If you die your digital ghost is still around. All of their emails, and social media, that still lives if they die.
“Over time we will see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. It is all about the band width of the brain.
“The digital extension of yourself. Output if anything is getting worse. We do most of our output through our thumbs which is very slow.
“Some high band width interface to the brain will be something which helps achieve symbiosis between human and machine intelligence, which solves a control and usefulness problem.”
This would result in huge swathes of the population losing their direction and purpose: “I think (driving) might be the single largest employer in various forms.
“We need to figure out new roles – what do those people do? It will be very disruptive and very quick.”
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Estimating there are nearly two and half billion cars and trucks in the world, he added: “The point at which we see full autonomy appear, will not be the point where we see mass upheaval.
“We are just not smart enough to realise it. Any advanced alien civilization that was at all interested in populating the galaxy, even without exceeding the speed of light, at say 10 or 20 per cent of the speed of light, you could populate the entire galaxy in 20 million years max.