Home Artificial Intelligence Elon Musk Seems to Have a Rosier Outlook on AI Right Now

Elon Musk Seems to Have a Rosier Outlook on AI Right Now

Elon Musk.
Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

  • Elon Musk is sounding much more chipper about our AI future.
  • Musk has long been concerned about the risks posed by AI.
  • However, in a recent interview, Musk focused on some of the positive consequences of the tech.

Is Elon Musk feeling more positive about AI?

The billionaire has long touted the technology’s potentially catastrophic risks, often likening AI to destructive forces like nuclear weapons. Last year, Musk even backed a letter demanding a six-month pause on AI development.

Yet, in a Wednesday interview with WPP CEO Mark Read at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Tesla CEO sounded much more chipper about the tech he’s been outspoken about.

“It’ll most likely be good, but we want to be careful about a potential downside,” he said of AI development. “Technology will help you do anything that you want to do, and more of it.”

While Musk reiterated that his position was similar to that of AI godfather Geoffrey Hinton — who has been vocal about AI safety — he also encouraged the audience to “look on the bright side.”

Hinton has issued several warnings about AI’s potential extinction-level threat, including the risk that it could eventually learn to manipulate humans.

While Musk warned there was still a 20% chance AI would lead to something terrible happening, he also quipped that the glass was still “80% full.”

“In the positive scenario, the AI will be doing its best to make you happy. So that might work out pretty well,” Musk said.

“I think the most likely outcome is one where the abundance of goods and services are available to anyone; there’s no shortage of goods and services for anyone on Earth,” he continued. “It wouldn’t be universal basic income; it would be universal high income.”

Musk is working on his own AI projects within Tesla and his startup, xAI.

xAI has released Grok, an AI product to rival chatbots like Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Musk has previously criticized Google and OpenAI’s offerings as “woke.”

He’s attempted to distinguish xAI’s efforts, allowing Grok to respond to users with vulgar language, humor, and sarcasm. Musk has previously said the company aims for Grok to be “maximally truth-seeking” and “maximally curious.”

Musk acknowledged some of these products’ potential effects on the labor force during the Cannes Lion interview, suggesting that the rise of AI could make work optional for people.

He said this shift could provoke a “crisis of meaning” and spark societal existential concerns.

Nonetheless, Musk appears to be taking his own advice about looking on the bright side. He told an audience member: “This is the most interesting time in all of history. So, enjoy the ride.”



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