Wired

Elon Musk: Humanity Is a Kind of ‘Biological Boot Loader’ for AI

On Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma took the stage at the World AI Conference in Shanghai to debate artificial intelligence and its implications for humanity. As expected, Ma took a far more optimistic stance than Musk. Ma encouraged people to have faith in humanity, our creativity, and the future. “I don’t think artificial intelligence is a threat,” he said, to which Musk replied, “I don’t know, man, that’s like, famous last words.” An edited transcript of the discussion follows.

Elon Musk: What are we supposed to say? Just things about AI perhaps? Yeah. Okay. Let’s see.

Jack Ma: The AI, right? Okay, great.

EM: Actually, I’m told that—does AI mean love? There’s like a name, AI, it sort of sounds a bit like love?

JM: Yeah, AI—I hate the word AI called artificial intelligence. I call it Alibaba intelligence.

EM: Yeah, might end up being true. You never know.

I think generally, people underestimate the capability of AI. They sort of think like, it’s a smart human. But it’s, it’s really much—it’s going to be much more than that. It’ll be much smarter than the smartest human…

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Wired is a monthly American magazine, published in print and online editions, that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. Owned by Condé Nast, it is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has been in publication since March/April 1993
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