Telsa CEO Elon Musk said on Saturday that people "should be really concerned" about artificial intelligence which "is a fundamental risk for human civilization."
He made the comment at the National Governors Association meeting in Providence, R.I., after being asked by newly elected NGA chair Gov. Brian Sandoval about whether robots are going replace human jobs and how much he sees A.I. coming into the workplace.
"I keep sounding the alarm bell," Musk continued. Musk has previously spoken about the threat of robots taking people's jobs. He has also backed brain-computer interface technology in an effort to keep humanity on pace with the rapid advance of A.I.
He mentioned on Saturday how most people can't fathom the threat until robots are "going down the street killing people," in a sit-down conversation that aired on C-SPAN. "They don't know how to react because it seems so ethereal," he said, before repeating, "We should be really concerned about A.I.
Musk, a billionaire who also heads SpaceX, then spoke of the importance of government regulation that is proactive, not reactive, to protect people. And he explained the conundrum companies face because if they don't embrace A.I. they could fall behind the competition.
"There's a bunch of opposition from companies who don't like being told what to do by regulators. And it takes forever," he said. "But in the past there's been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization."
Then he said, "A.I. is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization."
"In a way that car accidents, airplane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not," he added. "They were harmful to a set of individuals ... but not harmful to society as a whole. A.I. is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization, and I don't think people fully appreciate that."
Musk also said he is not a fan of over-regulation.
He said this is "the scariest problem to me."