On the same day he unveiled a new company called xAI to better "understand reality," Twitter CEO Elon Musk made another eyebrow-raising claim: that he'd warned Chinese leaders that a "digital superintelligence" could take over the entire country, Insider reports.
During a Twitter Spaces call on Wednesday, Musk revealed that he had spent a "fair bit of time with senior leadership" after visiting the country earlier this year.
And his warnings that a super-AI may even topple the Communist Party didn't fall on deaf ears.
"I think that did resonate," Musk said during the call, as quoted by Insider. "No government wants to find itself unseated by a digital superintelligence."
Musk's comments were made during a discussion with two US congressmen, Democrat Ro Khanna and Republican Mike Gallagher.
During the chat, Musk reiterated his stance that AI should be regulated, adding that "China is definitely interested in working in a cooperative international framework for AI regulation," a view that a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson more or less confirmed to reporters.
For many years, Musk has rung the alarm bells when it comes to the proliferation of unregulated AI. In February, shortly after Microsoft revealed its unhinged Bing AI chatbot, he called AI "one of the biggest risks to the future of civilization."
That, however, hasn't stopped him from starting his own AI firm — which, it's worth noting, has yet to reveal any concrete plans beyond making pompous statements about its purported goals.
During this week's Twitter Spaces appearance, Musk called China's people "underrated," arguing that they are "on team humanity," despite plenty of "distrust of America within China."
But whether the US will be willing to work with China — or vice versa — to come up with an international regulatory framework for AI remains as uncertain as ever.
Case in point: Gallagher seemingly balked at Musk's comments, saying that the Communist Party was more on "team genocidal communism," and that leaders would use AI as an "instrument for total tech totalitarian control."
But according to Musk, these ideological differences pale in comparison to the threat of an evil AI that's ready to take over the world.
"I think, ultimately, these nation-state battles will seem parochial compared to a digital super intelligence," he said.
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