Google, play "The Future Freaks Me Out" by Motion City Soundtrack.


Elon Musk is a man of many contradictions, and one of his most glaring ones — libertarianism with personally convenient limits — was on display in a recent Tesla presentation in which he sounded off on artificial intelligence.

As Reuters reports, Musk admitted his anxieties about the headline-grabbing tech during a recent Tesla investor meeting that looked broadly at the company's plans for the future.

"AI stresses me out," the South African-Canadian billionaire said, clarifying later in his comments that he's a "little worried" about it.

"We need some kind of, like, regulatory authority or something overseeing AI development," Musk told his investors. "Make sure it's operating in the public interest. It's quite dangerous technology. I fear I may have done some things to accelerate it."

That last bit refers, of course, to his early involvement in OpenAI, which Musk co-founded in 2015 and left three years later amid apparent differences in ideology.


Though he's occasionally praised the onetime nonprofit research firm for the power of ChatGPT since its paradigm-shifting November release, the SpaceX founder has mostly trashed OpenAI in recent months — and is, per a scoop from The Information dropped earlier in the week, apparently looking to build a new AI company to compete with what he characterizes as its "woke" chatbot.

That said, Musk calling for AI regulation after news broke that he's seeking to compete with the firm he helped found does seem pretty on the nose. But then again, this is the same "free speech absolutist" who, in the early days of his Twitter ownership, appeared to mass ban the accounts of journalists who criticized him on the site.

"Regulation for thee but not for me" very much falls within Musk's dissonant worldview, and this latest AI kerfuffle is proof positive that wealth and power absolutely do not equal ideological consistency.

More on the Muskian worldview: China Warns Elon Musk Not to Contradict Its COVID Messaging

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