Same, Elon. Same.


Suffering a bit of anxiety over what recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence might mean for humanity? So is Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

"Having a bit of AI existential angst today," the billionaire tweeted over the weekend, just a few hours after starting the day on a much lighter "hope you have a good Sunday" note to followers.

Honestly, in the grand scheme of Musk tweets, this one is a bit more relatable than most. AI broke into the public sphere in a major way towards the end of last year, with OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot swiftly shaping up to be the fastest-growing app in consumer history. Microsoft and Google, meanwhile, are currently warring over whose AI integration will dominate the future of search — if they can figure out how to make their search chatbots the perfect degree of stupid, that is — while investor cash continues to flow into the field at large.

In other words, it's possible AI may not just be an inflection point of 2023, but of civilization itself. And considering the very real dangers that both AI itself and the ongoing arms race to build it may well pose, existential angst is pretty valid.

We Have History

It's not terribly surprising to see Musk muse about his AI-induced angst, given that he's recently been vocally critical of OpenAI — a company he actually helped to found back in 2015 before vacating the board in 2018 — and its investment daddy Microsoft, taking to Twitter on February 17 to basically call OpenAI a bunch of sell-outs.

"OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it 'Open' AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google," Musk tweeted, "but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft."

Musk also has historically taken a warning tone when speaking about AI, making it very clear — even quite recently — that he fears it could bring down civilization. (That said, we should note, that the Musk-owned Tesla has some very serious AI-related safety concerns of its own to tackle.)

Even so, Mr. Tweet still thinks that his AI anxieties will be worth it in the long run.

"All things considered with regard to [Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)] existential angst," he continued in the thread, "I would prefer to be alive now to witness AGI than be alive in the past and not."

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