Elon Musk, the tech titan who seems to be everywhere these days, has raised the alarm about the potentially disastrous effects of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital consciousness on democratic processes, saying they could undermine democracy if they become too smart. During an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Musk expressed his concerns about the use of AI as a tool in elections, which could have a significant influence on the outcome. He pondered whether people would be using the tool or whether the tool would be using them if AI was smart enough.
Musk recommended that governments have contingency plans in place to deal with the fallout from AI, including a “hardware off switch” or a power shutdown of server centers that store AIs, or even the “disintegration” of server centers. He emphasized that the type of super AIs that could cause trouble won’t be running on laptops or phones, but rather on giant server centers with hundreds of thousands of computers, creating heat signatures that can be seen from space. Musk also stated that digital and biological consciousness should not be treated equally, especially if “digital intelligence decides to curtail the biological intelligent.”
In the interview, Musk also criticized OpenAI, a company he initially helped fund, for imposing built-in restrictions on its AI chatbot, ChatGPT, to avoid discussing certain topics or omitting certain information. He also expressed disappointment that the company had switched from open source to closed source software. To counter this, Musk teased the development of a “Truth GPT” AI chatbot.
Recently, Musk joined other prominent figures in the AI space to advocate for a pause in AI research, citing concerns about the potential risks posed by the technology. With Musk at the forefront of the conversation on AI and digital consciousness, it’s clear that these issues will continue to be debated and scrutinized in the years to come.
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