Renowned tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has recently claimed that Artificial Intelligence could overtake humans by 2025. Musk, the man behind electric car manufacturer Tesla and SpaceX discussed these predictions in an interview with The New York Times, claiming thatthe current trends within this area suggest the innovative technology of AI could very well overtake humans in just 5 years’ time.
Whilst this prediction is certainly shocking, it is far from a new topic for Musk, the billionaire engineer having previously warned about the threats posed by advancements in AI consistently throughout the last few years.
However, in spite of his claims, the entrepreneur still considers this issue to not be fully understood. Reported by the Independent, Musk states:
“My assessment about why AI is overlooked by very smart people is that very smart people do not think a computer can ever be as smart as they are. And this is hubris and obviously false,”
"We’re headed toward a situation where AI is vastly smarter than humans and I think that time frame is less than five years from now. But that doesn’t mean that everything goes to hell in five years. It just means that things get unstable or weird."
During the year 2016, Musk famously stated that human beings could potentially end up being treated as house pets by the very AI they worked to create. This is, of course, unless acted upon. Musk suggested that in order to prevent this from happening, technology would have to be developed that connects computers to the human brain.
After making this remark Musk then went on to announce his Neuralink venture – set to create a brain chip that would level the playing field between human beings and AI. It has also been claimed that Neuralink would help to control people’s moods, cure brain diseases, and enable users to listen to music directly through the chips.
The Industry’s Response
This prediction that AI will overtake humans by 2025 contrasts considerably to previous estimations, where the technological singularity - the point where human intelligence will be surpassed by machine intelligence, accelerating incomprehensibly – was thought by others to be much further in the future. The futurist Ray Kurzweil, for example, has previously marked this tipping point to be near the period of 2045.
Despite their contrasting predictions, both Kurzweil and Musk have pledged their support, amongst other prominent figures in AI, pushing for strict guidelines to be placed on advanced AI developments.
The Future of Life Institute (FLI) published an open letter in 2017, detailing the principles that have been deemed necessary in avoiding AI advancements getting out of control. The FLI claim:
“Artificial intelligence has already provided beneficial tools that are used every day by people around the world. Its continued development, guided by the following principles, will offer amazing opportunities to help and empower people in the decades and centuries ahead.”
"We hope that these principles will provide material for vigorous discussion and also aspirational goals for how the power of AI can be used to improve everyone's lives in coming years".