Elon Musk Is Wrong about Artificial Intelligence and the Precautionary Principle

Joe Duffy/DreamstimeArtificial intelligence, or AI—the branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines—”is a fundamental risk to human civilization,” declared Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk at the National Governors Association’s annual meeting this past weekend. “It’s really the scariest problem to me.” He finds it so scary, in fact, that he considers it “a rare case where we should be proactive in regulation instead of reactive. By the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it is too late.” The regulators’ job, Musk said, would be to tell AI developers to “make sure this is safe and then you can go—otherwise, slow down.” This may sound reasonable. But Musk is, perhaps unknowingly, recommending that AI researchers be saddled with the precautionary principle. According to one definition, that’s “the precept that an action should not be taken if the consequences are uncertain and potentially dangerous.” Or as I have summarized it: “Never do anything for the first time.” As examples of remarkable AI progress, Musk cited AlphaGo’s victory over the world’s best players of the game of Go. He described how simulated figures using DeepMind techniques and rewards learned in only a few hours to walk and navigate…


Link to Full Article: Elon Musk Is Wrong about Artificial Intelligence and the Precautionary Principle

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