Sooner or later, the robots will make chimps of us.
That’s the warning from Elon Musk, who claimed on Thursday that artificial-intelligence will eventually create robots that aren’t merely as smart as humans, but much smarter.
At a Shanghai event with Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma, Tesla’s eccentric CEO compared the intelligence gap between humans and the AI-powered robots of the future to the gap between humans and chimpanzees.
“Can a chimpanzee really understand humans? Not really,” Musk said.
“We just seem like strange aliens. They mostly just care about other chimpanzees. And this will be how it is, more or less.”
Indeed, the South Africa-born Musk added that the intelligence gap will probably be “much, much greater,” and said it could easily get to the point where things get out of humans’ control.
“What do you do with a situation like that? I’m not sure. I hope they’re nice,” he said.
The tech tycoon behind Tesla and SpaceX went on to say that most people “underestimate the capability of AI.”
“They sort of think it’s like a smart human, but it’s going to be much more than that,” Musk said onstage. “It’ll be much smarter than the smartest human.”
“The first thing you should assume is that we are very dumb, and that we can definitely make things smarter than ourselves,” he added.
Musk is no stranger to warning about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, having previously said that it brings “vastly more risk than North Korea.”
Nevertheless, Musk has also founded a startup called Neuralink, which revealed last month that it aims to link human brains to computers as soon as next year.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.