Elon Musk to governors: AI software could replace you, too

Elon Musk offered a simple message for weary governors struggling with budget shortfalls, healthcare repeal and natural disasters: Beware of the robots.

“There certainly will be job disruption. Because what’s going to happen is robots will be able to do everything better than us,” the Tesla CEO told elected leaders Saturday at the National Governors Association conference. “I mean, all of us.”

A robot governor? Who will lead the July 4th parades? Cut ribbons? Cuddle babies and twist lawmakers’ arms?

“Yeah, I am not sure exactly what to do about this,” the tech mogul said during a far-ranging conversation. “This is really the scariest problem to me, I will tell you.”

Musk has warned about robot overlords in the past. He launched an artificial intelligence company, Neuralink, this year to develop an interface between the human brain and computers. He told the bipartisan group of governors that he has access to cutting-edge AI research, and believes it’s a fundamental risk to human civilization.

He has also focused on colonizing Mars as a way to preserve and spread humanity. Musk’s privately-held SpaceX is preparing for manned missions to the red planet, although they’re not taking reservations yet.

Musk also acknowledged his electric vehicle company might not deserve its soaring stock price. Tesla shares have gained about 50 percent this year, despite the company burning through cash to expand its business.

Deliveries of the Model S and Model X slumped during the second quarter of the year, leaving analysts to wonder if the company is properly valued. The company blamed lower delivery numbers on problems with its 100 kilowatt hour battery pack.

Tesla has been boosted by the coming release of the Model 3, its thrifty version of an electrical sedan starting at $35,000. The first car rolled off the assembly line this month. In late July, the company plans to deliver 30 vehicles to early customers and employees.

Photo: Elon Musk listens to President Donald Trump during a meeting with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 23, 2017. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • omegatalon

    Would anyone really give control for a city or state to a piece of software.. especially as most rule based expert systems are either Black or White; no wiggle room for shades of grey.

  • Cheap & Nothing Wasted

    A robot would certainly be a better governor than any of the following:
    Scott Brownback of Kansas [he’s bankrupted the state]
    Bruce Rauner of Illinois [just a right wing fool]
    Rick Snyder of Michigan [he poisoned Flint’s water]