Business magnate Elon Musk recently called for urgent action from the federal government, asking it to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies. While speaking at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association last weekend, Musk claimed that the possibility of AI turning on its human creators is much larger than people believe, urging the government to do something about this emerging field until it's too late. Musk once again advocated for strict government oversight of AI research and development (R&D), stating that he's afraid politicians won't do something to regulate this technology until they "see robots going down the street killing people."
The co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tesla stated that the government needs to be proactive in the manner in which it handles AI because it may not have a chance to adopt a reactive stance to overseeing advancements in machine learning and related fields which pose a threat to the entire human civilization. Musk has been advocating for strict AI regulations for years now, claiming how his experience at Tesla allows him to be in everyday contact with such technologies, which is how he's aware of their possible implications, both good and bad. Some of his critics previously claimed that Musk is not an AI expert and is needlessly spreading panic, talking about highly hypothetical scenarios that are unlikely to happen. The general AI that the business magnate is often warning about is a largely unexplored discipline that a number of industry watchers don't believe will pose a real threat to society in decades, if ever, though Musk often labeled such stances as not cautious enough.
Musk himself is no stranger to exploring bleeding edge technologies; apart from Tesla's self-driving endeavors, the businessman also established a number of highly experimental ventures in recent years, with his latest startup looking to commercialize telepathy. Still, scientists and researchers are generally divided on the subject of rogue AIs – while most of them agree such scenarios are possible, their likelihood has been the topic of many heated debates over the years. As for the federal government, top authorities in the United States seemingly don't share Musk's AI-related views and have yet to express a significant level of interest in regulating this emerging technology.