Yesterday, Boing Boing, Business Insider, The Washington Post and others reported on an email that Elon Musk allegedly sent to an employee. The email snippet originally appeared in Ashlee Vance’s new book, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. According to the book, the employee (who was not named) missed a work function because his child was being born. This was Musk’s alleged reply:
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Jim Edwards writes at Business Insider:
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A panel at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland has just completely dismantled the idea — currently trendy in the tech sector — that artificially intelligent robots, lacking morals, may one day independently decide to start killing humans.
The idea has been spread, somewhat tongue in cheek, by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has even suggested that the robots may even thwart any humans who try to escape them by blasting off to Mars.
AI research is advancing rapidly inside private companies right now like Facebook and Google. That R&D is mostly a secret, which is why people like to speculate about it. Plus, everyone loves the Terminator movies, in which killer AI robots are the main protagonists.
The panel was hosted by two UC Berkeley professors, Ken Goldberg (who studies robotics) and Alison Gopnik (who studies psychology).
Not to be outdone by Silicon Valley superhero Elon Musk who recently warned that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is “our biggest existential threat,” British genius Stephen Hawking tells BBC News that AI could spell the end of mankind:
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Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence.
He told the BBC:”The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI.
But others are less gloomy about AI’s prospects.
The theoretical physicist, who has the motor neurone disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is using a new system developed by Intel to speak.
Machine learning experts from the British company Swiftkey were also involved in its creation. Their technology, already employed as a smartphone keyboard app, learns how the professor thinks and suggests the words he might want to use next.
As one of the most celebrated of technology pioneers, Elon Musk (Tesla cars, SpaceX, etc.) knows a thing or two about where technology is headed, and he’s not at all sure there will be a positive outcome for humanity per this interview with Walter Isaacson for Vanity Fair:
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Tesla and SpaceX C.E.O. Elon Musk said he was worried that people didn’t understand how fast artificial intelligence was progressing, and expressed his concern that, in a worst-case scenario, a “super-intelligent” machine might decide to destroy human life.
Musk was speaking to Walter Isaacson, the president and C.E.O. of the Aspen Institute, on stage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in San Francisco. Musk, uncharacteristically wearing a suit, detailed his fears after teasing the announcement of Tesla’s secretive project called “the D.”
“I don’t think anyone realizes how quickly artificial intelligence is advancing. Particularly if [the machine is] involved in recursive self-improvement .
Two lectures and one interview well worth the watch:
When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world? Note, I am hedging my statement slightly by saying “one of”. The head of the California high speed rail project called me to complain that it wasn’t the very slowest bullet train nor the very most expensive per mile. The underlying motive for a statewide mass transit system is a good one. It would be great to have an alternative to flying or driving, but obviously only if it is actually better than flying or driving...
A US billionaire and co-founder of PayPal, Elon Musk, has made plans to build a settlement for 80,000 people on Mars when technology makes it possible for man to live there, for a price of $500,000.
Musk is a considered one of America’s most respected private space entrepreneurs and was in charge of creating SpaceX, a space transport company that produced the Falcon 9 rocket that delivers NASA cargo to the International Space Station. The billionaire’s estate and prominence in the space industry could make his plans [for a city on Mars] feasible, but the California-based engineer has not left behind his personal ideologies: Musk will only allow vegetarians to live in his settlement.
A one-way ticket to Mars would cost a mere half million dollars, quite enticing if you’re wealthy but your daily existence on Earth is barren and meaningless. Space.com writes:
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Elon Musk, the billionaire founder and CEO of the private spaceflight company SpaceX, wants to help establish a Mars colony of up to 80,000 people by ferrying explorers to the Red Planet for perhaps $500,000 a trip. Musk figures the colony program — which he wants to be a collaboration between government and private enterprise — would end up costing about $36 billion.
“At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big,” Musk told an audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Friday. In Musk’s vision, the ambitious Mars settlement program would start with a pioneering group of fewer than 10 people, who would journey to the Red Planet aboard a huge reusable rocket.