The future for AI is “in our hands”, according to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.
Speaking at a recent tech conference, Musk said that his company was building an AI system that could learn to understand language, and be able to be a good partner for people in other professions.
“The next frontier is in the field of communication.
AI systems are capable of being good collaborators with human partners,” Musk said.
“I think that the future is in people’s hands, not machines.”
Musk said AI systems could help make people’s lives better, but he didn’t offer specific examples.
He did say, however, that they would eventually help people communicate better.
“A lot of the time we use language in the same way we use computers, we can’t communicate without machines,” Musk told the audience.
“We need machines that can communicate, but also do the work that humans do, which is understanding language.”
Musk, however said he wasn’t sure whether AI systems would have the ability to understand and be useful in that way.
“That’s a challenge, I’m not sure if that’s something we’re going to get,” he said.
Musk said he was personally excited by AI because he was fascinated by the possibilities it could offer.
“In some ways, this is an extension of the old idea of what it means to be human.
I’m always looking for new ways to make humanity better,” he added.
“There’s always a possibility that AI will be the way we get closer to being able to communicate better.”
Musk is also very keen on AI that works for people and not just for money.
“If you look at our future, it’s not going to be about the technology that we’re building,” he told Recode.
“It’s going to have to be better than that.
And that means it has to be good for human beings, not just our business, but for everybody.”
Tesla and the US government have a vested interest in ensuring that AI systems can be used to improve the lives of people.
Musk’s comments on AI and the future of technology are particularly interesting given the fact that Tesla recently invested $100m in an AI startup called Autonomy, a company that Musk described as a “pioneer in machine learning.”
Musk has also said that he wants to create an AI that could work for him.
He said he’d like to be able “to work in a more autonomous manner,” but didn’t say exactly what that might be.