Elon Musk was said to be rendered “speechless” when an artificial intelligence (AI) guru pointed out a basic flaw in his plan to colonize Mars.
Based on dozens of insider interviews, the New York Times (NYT) reported that Elon Musk met Google DeepMind cofounder, Demis Hassabis, in 2012.
The pair were at a conference that their shared investor, PayPal’s infamous founder, Peter Thiel, had organized.
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The pair soon began talking about the South African-born billionaire’s plans to take humanity to Mars to escape global overpopulation and the other issues facing our planet.
The chat happened as he gave Hassabis a tour of the SpaceX headquarters.
The plans form part of the SpaceX Mars program, of which Musk is CEO and chief engineer – and the company has certainly had some failures amid its success.
However, Elon Musk was apparently left dumbfounded and speechless when Hassabis pointed out a basic flaw in his much-hyped scheme.
Musk recently had to eat crow (to a point) and discuss the Tesla Giga Factory incident when a robot ‘attacked’ a worker.
Per the NYT retelling, Hassabis’s plan was to get Elon Musk to fund his dream of creating artificial general intelligence (AGI) – and AI has only continued to become more powerful.
Hassabis agreed that the Mars mission was a good idea but asked: what if AI surpassed human intelligence?
Wouldn’t it be possible for it to easily follow us to Mars and pose a threat there too?
While he usually has a retort to everything, per the NYT, Musk was left “speechless”.
It seems he hadn’t considered that problems from Earth could simply follow human beings to the Red Planet.
Soon after Musk invested in DeepMind, trashing the firm later as his “top concern” when it came to AI.
Musk later spoke to the NYT in 2020 and referenced the firm’s early innovation in AI that allowed it to beat humans at video games.
“Just the nature of the AI that they’re building is one that crushes all humans at all games,” he said.
“I mean, it’s basically the plotline in War Games.”
Hassabis recounted the conversation to Musk biographer, Walter Isaacson.
He noted that, not only was Musk speechless, but he was also dumbfounded that he could have overlooked something in his SpaceX plans.